Land Sciences lecturing team: Dr Tony Woodcock, course leader BSc Agriculture

A little known fact about agriculture is: Farming in Ireland can be traced back 5000 years!

A little known fact about agriculture is: Farming in Ireland can be traced back 5000 years!

Dr Tony Woodcock grew up on a beef and tillage farm in Co Kilkenny and was always heavily involved there. He continues to work on the farm.

Dr Tony WoodcockProgramme Leader for the BSc in Agriculture.

Lectures on BSc in Agriculture, BSc in Agricultural Science, BSc in Land Management, BSc in Food Science and Innovation, BSc in Forestry, BSc in Horticulture

Modules taught Plant Biology, Environmental Science, Agriculture and the Environment, Soils Nutrient Management, Integrated Pest Management, Sustainable and Renewable Energy, Research Methods, Food Process Technology 2.

Home is Kilkenny

Land Science credentials: As a part time beef and tillage farmer I am involved in all aspects of the farm business throughout the year.

My interest in Agriculture stems from: I grew up on a beef and tillage farm and was always heavily involved there. I continue to work on the farm when I’m not working in WIT, and spend a lot of time during the summer and in the evenings farming. From an academic point of view I completed a masters and a PhD (Teagasc Walsh Fellowship) in UCD in the area of food traceability and fraud detection using chemometric analysis of NIR spectral data. This was followed by post-doctoral work in the area of renewable and sustainable energy sources. These areas now inform my view of agriculture generally.

Career ladder

Undergraduate degree BSc in Agricultural and Food Engineering, UCD

Masters and/or PhD Research Masters (UCD) and PhD (Teagasc Walsh Fellowship & UCD)

PhD title Geographical Classification of Honey and Olive Oil Samples by Chemometric Analysis of Near-Infrared Spectral Data

Research interests Broad interests including influence of microorganisms on soil fertility and influence of growing region / climate on cereal crop properties

Links with industry Links with many agri food companies in the south east of Ireland and beyond, including Dawn Meats, Glanbia, Charles Wynne, Brett Brothers, Alltech etc.

Thoughts on…

Career trends for BSc in Agriculture graduates: The future remains bright for graduates with a level 7 or level 8 Agriculture related degree. Recent feedback from employers on the standard of graduates coming from WIT has been extremely positive. Positions in many of the Agri-Food companies in roles such as technical sales, R&D, marketing etc. are always available for the correct candidate and while recent graduates will have to learn the ropes when the first take up a position in a company, these companies generally offer very worthwhile career paths for people who are energetic and proactive within the workforce.

The main challenge facing the ag industry in Ireland is: Internationalisation poses a threat to the Irish Agricultural industry. Farmers are at the mercy of international commodity prices which tend not to take account of the costs associated with producing products to the standard and quality required in Ireland. I firmly believe that we must not compromise on quality, and hope that international markets reward Irish farmers and Irish processors with prices that reflect the value of the product produced.

My top tip for people wanting to get ahead in ag science is: You have to work hard to get ahead in any industry. Students coming to college should immerse themselves in the college experience, join clubs and societies and meet lots of new people. It is also vital that students work hard at their chosen course and make sure that the results that they achieve at the end of their time in college accurately reflect their ability. These results will ultimately be your ticket in the door for interviews after you finish college.

A little known fact about agriculture is: Farming in Ireland can be traced back 5000 years!

How times have changed: Probably the biggest change from when I was in college (which isn’t that long ago!) is the availability of information. Researching for literature reviews etc. 15 years or so ago involved a very drawn out search of books and journals in the library, and you got to know the library very well. A huge advantage these days is the availability of scientific databases which are available online, where the material you are seeking can be easily accessed using search terms.

Related Courses

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Agricultural Science
Bachelor of Science in  Agriculture
Bachelor of Science in  Food Science & Innovation
Bachelor of Science in  Forestry
Bachelor of Science in  Horticulture (National Botanic Gardens)
Bachelor of Science in  Horticulture (Kildalton College)
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Land Management in Agriculture
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Land Management in Forestry
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Land Management in Horticulture

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