Sarah Davidson, Co. Antrim, receiving a bursary from Hugh Ferguson, The Gibson Trust

Sarah receiving her award in December 2019 at the Greenmount Campus awards event.

Sarah described her plans to start up and develop a bee keeping enterprise to not only produce and market honey and beeswax products but also to aid the conventional crops on the farm by superior pollination which will increase crop yields.

She also described potential environmental impact of the bees on wildlife creating habitats, whilst outside the strict economic benefits of her project, is a very worthwhile side effect.

Rachael Jordan, Co. Down, receiving a bursary from Hugh Ferguson, The Gibson Trust

Rachael receiving her award in December 2019 at the Greenmount Campus awards event.

Rachel described an ambitious and novel plan to start up and develop two new enterprises on the home farm - a suckler beef herd of water buffalo taking the progeny through to fattened beef, and a separate herd of a different strain of water buffalo producing buffalo milk.

The plan included well costed major building works for winter housing for both herds, as well as milking facilities for the dairy herd.

Brian McNaughton, Co. Antrim, receiving a bursary from William Montgomery, The Gibson Trust

Brian receiving his award on 17th December 2018 at the at Greenmount Campus awards event.

Brian provided a plan for a new calf rearing and heifer shed on his home farm to move away from the existing contract rearing to reduce costs and lessen the disease risks associated with having livestock on outside farms.

The planned new shed will incorporate automatic calf feeding facilities and head locking yolks for the larger heifers to improve safety and convenience when handling the stock.

The report includes comprehensive plans and costs for the shed with a good explanation of the benefits to the farm.

Katherine Acheson, Co. Down, receiving a bursary from William Montgomery, The Gibson Trust

Katherine receiving her award on 17th December 2018 at the at Greenmount Campus awards event.

Katherine based her project on the farm of a friend where the winter feeding of the substantial suckler herd and sheep flock is totally dependant on big bale silage made by contractors. She suggests constructing a silo pit on the farm with sufficient capacity for all the livestock's winter feed.

She provided detailed costs with a clear comparison between the current system and the plan. She clearly defines the cost benefit of the change and indicates that the investment could pay for itself in three years.

Katherine also indicates environmental benefits for the plan including greatly reduced use of polythene.

Matthew Robson, Doagh, Co. Antrim, receiving a £1000 bursary from Edward Montgomery, The Gibson Trust

Matthew is studying for a BSc in Agricultural Technology which is offered in partnership between Queen’s University Belfast and CAFRE, Greenmount Campus.

Matthew comes from a pedigree Simmental and commercial pig farm and is a former pupil of Ballyclare High School.

Interestingly, Matthew’s grandfather, Billy Robson, also received a Gibson Trust scholarship when he was studying Agriculture at Queen’s University in 1953. Matthew currently plays rugby for Ballyclare Rugby Club 1st XV.

Ruairi McAnulty, Warrenpoint, Co. Down, receiving a £1000 bursary from Edward Montgomery, The Gibson Trust

Ruairi is studying for a BSc in Agricultural Technology which is offered in partnership between Queen’s University Belfast and CAFRE, Greenmount Campus. He is a former pupil of St Colman’s Newry.

After university Ruairi is keen to find employment within the animal nutrition sector. In addition to helping on the home beef and sheep farm, Ruairi plays Gaelic football for the Burren minor team.

Edward Montgomery, Trustee of The Gibson Trust, presenting Claire Beckett, Cillian Darragh, Sean Kane and Heather Steele with their cheques at the Greenmount Bursary Awards Ceremony on 12th December 2014

The four successful applicants presented projects to improve silage storage and safe handling, to recreate a dairy farm, to build a stock house and to create green bedding from slurry via a separator process. Further information about the Gibson Trust Bursary scheme :

Professor George Hutchinson, Director of The Gibson Institute, Queen's University, Belfast jg.hutchinson@qub.ac.uk Dr. Alice Robson, Bursary Co-ordinator, Greenmount Campus, College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise alice.robson@dardni.gov.uk

The unveiling of the William Gibson plaque on the gates to Drumbroneth House, Dromore. May 2006

Those present on the day included the following :

Jimmy Hawthorne, Sean Nolan (Ulster Museum), Victor Price, Jim Crawford, Pat Devlin, Councillor Jim McIlroy (chairman of Banbridge District Council).

Also present were representatives of the Dromore Historical Society: John Davis (Queen's University), Walter Smyth (The Gibson Trust), Brian King (Royal Ulster Agricultural Society) and his wife, The Rev. Sam Peden and Raymond Kelly.

Drumbroneth House, Dromore, County Down

William Gibson purchased a farm in Drumbroneth, Dromore where he had been born and built a large house there, Drumbroneth House, in which he lived while on business trips to County Down.

Harvesting Potatoes

Until the 1960s, many schools in County Down gave pupils a week off in the autumn for potato harvesting.

Photograph courtesy of Down County Museum. Photographs not to be reproduced without permission.

Stewart's Motor Works, Belfast

The advent of tractors marked the end of a lot of implement making and farriery for blacksmiths. After WWII, most forges were replaced by garages. Stewart's started as a blacksmith's forge.

Photograph courtesy of Down County Museum. Photographs not to be reproduced without permission.