Having obtained a 1st class honours with his Certificate of Agricultural at Gurteen College, Richard was offered a place on the Dairy Husbandry Diploma Course (of which there were only 16 places between Gurteen and Clonakilty Colleges), from which all the colleges competed for a place.
Following completion of this course in 1975, with a Distinction, he was offered a job to manage Gurteen College’s Dairy Herd which he did for a total of thirty eight years. Over the years the herd grew in size and performance only to be restricted by the Milk Quote era, but has since expanded.
In 1977 he was appointed Assistant Farm Manager and has worked with three Farm Managers and three Principals since that time to the present, having helped develop the Farm and College to its present size and scale of enterprises.
In 1979 Richard was appointed as a second Dairy Technician by ACOT (forerunner of Teagasc) as the number of students was increasing on both the first and second year courses. The role of the Technician is to teach and demonstrate practical skills to the students, which is so important in farming today as less and less basic skills are known by students when coming to college, involving a range of skills across both dairy, calves and beef animals. He also advises other external groups coming into the college for tuition in these skills and other related topics with livestock.
In more recent years the College has linked with I.T Athlone doing an Equine/Business Course combined, also AIT Veterinary Nurses come to Gurteen College to gain their practical livestock skills in Gurteen on dairy, calves, beef and sheep, Richard teaches the dairy and calf skills to these groups.
Since being relieved of the management of the dairy herd, Richard is involved as Assistant Farm Manager and Dairy Technician. He also assists as PRO, showing groups of visitors and school groups around the college farm and giving details and knowledge of the developments of it over all the years that he has worked at Gurteen. During the year he also would be involved with other staff, organising and bringing students on visits and trips outside of the college to further their education.
During his years at Gurteen Richard has witnessed much progress and many changes in farming life. He has also met some characters of students who ended up doing all sorts of careers – not related to farming, but still enjoyed the year at college. Richard also has seen progress of a lot of sound students doing very well in farming and other related agricultural careers after leaving Gurteen College.
Assistant Farm Manager/Dairy Technician.