‘Pastures New’, a comprehensive Agricultural Science textbook for Leaving Certificate students was launched recently at the Family Farm at Dublin Zoo - and there on the day was a Tipp woman who played a major part in its publication.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, T.D. officially launched the textbook which was produced by Agri Aware, IASTA and the Irish Farmers’ Journal.
Thurles native Noirín Buckley was one of three IASTA members involved in compiling the textbook which is a key educational resource available to the 12,000 students studying the subject nationwide.
This major publication was produced as an aid to the outdated syllabus that is currently in use. There is an urgent need to modernise the Agricultural Science syllabus, which is outdated by 40 years. Agri Aware have requested a meeting with Minister Quinn to address this major issue.
IASTA Chairman Damian Phelan, “This book is already proving to be an excellent educational resource in many classrooms around the country. The information is presented in a way that is easy to understand with helpful diagrams and tables to further aid students with their study. IASTA are delighted to have been involved with the ‘Pastures New’ project.” Speaking at the launch of ‘Pastures New’, Minister Coveney said, “I am confident that many of the students studying the Agricultural Science syllabus will go on to pursue challenging, fulfilling and rewarding careers in this sector. Many will discover their passion for agriculture and build on that through further education at Teagasc Colleges, Universities and Institutes of Technology and become our farmers, agri- consultants, researchers, policy analysts and teachers of the future.” Agri Aware Chairman Bernard Donohue commented, “This textbook will find a welcome home in thousands of school bags, not just this year but in the many years to come. ‘Pastures New’, while covering the syllabus also provides students with an account of modern agriculture. We hope that an updated syllabus will become a reality for many students in the not too distant future and Agri Aware are working hard to ensure that this happens.” According to Matt Dempsey, editor of the Irish Farmers’ Journal “Pastures New is part of our investment in young readers. With an outdated syllabus the book is vital for Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science students. We’re delighted with our partnership with Agri Aware and IASTA in bringing both ‘Pastures New’ and the weekly Study Guides in the Irish Farmers’ Journal to fruition.” IFA President John Bryan said “Agriculture and the food sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry. It is currently contributing significantly to Ireland’s economic recovery through exports and employment. Agri Aware’s latest initiative, ‘Pastures New’ is an important learning tool to interest the next generation in all agriculture has to offer. It is also vital that the Government continue to invest in the sector and support the vital farm schemes and tax reliefs that are crucial to enhancing the sector.”