00:02 My name is Rachel E, I am an Agricultural Lecturer here at Greenmount Campus and I work for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
00:10 I work within the FE sector, so ostensibly sixteen to nineteen year olds that I’m dealing with. I am involved in two courses, the National Certificate in agriculture, which is a one-year programme and the National Diploma which is a three year programme.
00:25 Actually I studied here, as a student, so I did HND here and, at that point, I decided I was maybe going to go and try and get a farm management job, I thought I’d done enough studying, but I was encouraged by the lecturers here to go on,
00:41 At that stage there was an option to top up to degree level at Queens University, so I took that option, finished off my degree in one year.
00:49 Luckily enough there were a number of jobs came up within the Department of Agriculture at that point. Went for criteria based interview and got the job and came basically straight in from my degree.
01:01 Born on to the family farm, basically and just a great love for agriculture since I was a toddler, out on the farm, working on the farm, just a love for animals and I just knew that my career path was going to be working with animals at some, at some level, whether it was veterinary nursing, agriculture, equine, any one of those career paths, but, at the time, I just assumed that agriculture would be the best for me, so it was my own personal decision. There was lots of encouragement but no pressure.
01:32 I have three sisters, none of whom have an interest in agriculture at all, so basically I’m the one that’s running the, the farm, I run the farm part-time as well as, as working here at the college as well, so.
01:44 The death of my father made me see life more clearly and he was very young when he died and I just feel it’s important to grab every, every opportunity that’s available to you and live your life to the full and you just become more assertive and, you know, I had to do lots of things that dad would have done, you know, paperwork and so on, so certainly you grew up in a short space of time for sure. I had some time off to get things together but there was just we had forty cattle and almost five hundred sheep, so I just had to reduce everything down, so it’s a much smaller number that I have now and it’s more a hobby that I would call it really.
02:26 My day starts at six o’clock, I get up and check the stock and feed the stock. I have some pedigree sheep at home so a, a lot of management goes into those. I leave for work at seven-thirty, it’s a sixty-mile journey for me, one way, to get to work. I’m here for nine. I have a nine to five day, I get home at six-thirty and then I do the farm again until round about nine. But to me going out on to the farm after work is my way to relax and forget about your day and, and everything that’s gone wrong during the day, so I enjoy that. It is tiring but, on the whole, not too bad, works out fine.
03:07 At school I found probably careers guidance wasn’t fantastic. You just picked the subjects that you thought were going to be good for you, you know, the ones you enjoyed the most. So I did my sciences and maths and English, those subjects certainly have come in useful to me now. After I finished my GCSEs, I decided to leave school and I went to an FE college and picked up my A levels there and from then I discovered CAFRE but when I came then to Greenmount I was so interested in the subjects and it just gave me the motivation to work so much harder. At school, you know, you just went from day to day and the exams were important and I had to work for exams but when I came here it was just totally different, you know, really motivated and interested in the subjects.