TY trip to KildaltonCollege

Last Friday the entire Transition Year of C.B.S. descended on Kildalton College in the picturesque Suir Valley in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny. Kildalton is the largest agricultural training college in the country and is the leading provider of training in Equine Studies, Machinery, Agriculture and Horticulture.
Close links have been developed with the nearby Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and over 500 students are currently studying in Kildalton.
The C.B.S. boys were treated to a series of introductory lectures showing off in great detail the various courses that are on offer in Kildalton. Many of the courses have follow on degree courses in WIT.
At the horticulture station, nursery and plant propagation was explained and the students were shown the half acre indoor glass area for the plants as well as the half acre plot outside. They were also witness to processes such as cutting and sticking of saplings and the very high skill practise of grafting.
A further point of interest was that they use as few chemicals as possible on the various plants. They use an integrated pest management system where the pests such as vine weevils, spider mites and slugs and snails are treated not with sprays but with nematodes, predatory mites and parasitic wasps.
Next up was the Hard Landscaping Construction station where ground design and maintenance took place. This is where the students learn how to build walls, fences, decking, water features and put down paving stones.
At the Turf Grass station, the lecturer showed the boys some sample golf greens that they maintain on site, and explained all about the grass used in the various stadiums in the world such as Croke Park and the Aviva. The students at Kildalton also learn how to maintain facilities such as horse tracks and bowls.
Another very interesting part of the courses was machine maintenance. Students learn how to look after tractors, but also how to service smaller garden machinery such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, strimmers and rotivators.
Over in the equine section, the boys saw the horses and their stables and were informed about all the various jobs and tasks involved with horses.
The boys were accompanied by Mr Walsh, Ms Henneberry, Ms Roche, Mr Howlin and Mr. Siggins.