His Royal Highness and Miss Middleton were greeted by Mrs Joan Christie OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim.
HRH and Miss Middleton were accompanied during the engagement by Mr Thoburn McCaughey, President Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU), and Mr John Fay, Director, CAFRE.
In the College farmyard the Royal couple received an overview of stock judging from YFCU Judge Mr Paul Dunn, and viewed a number of the young farmers engaged in judging cattle and listened to one of them as they discussed their assessment process.
At the nearby Diary Unit, HRH and Miss Middleton listened to a brief overview of the College’s Co-operative for Real Education in Agricultural Management (CREAM) project and had the opportunity to discuss the CREAM project with students.
Walking a short distance to the Paddock area, His Royal Highness and Miss Middleton met Mr Crosby Cleland, YFCU Fencing Competition Coach, and heard about the process of establishing a stock proof post and wire fence. The Royal couple then had an opportunity to watch a team of young farmers working under competition conditions. Prince William accepted an invitation from Mr Crosby Cleland to drive in a fencing post.
In the Walled Garden HRH and Miss Middleton viewed the garden and met Ms Caroline Mathers, CAFRE Senior Horticulture Lecturer and Ms Rachel Gibson, YFCU member and former CAFRE Horticulture student, who explained the activities undertaken in the YFCU Floral Art Competition. Miss Middleton also had the opportunity to join in making a Floral arrangement.
Later in the Paddock, the Royal couple met Mr Hugh McFetridge, Tug-of-War Coach and watched a competition between teams from YFCU. His Royal Highness accepted an invitation from Mr McFetridge to referee the final “pull” in the competition.
Returning to the Manor House, HRH and Miss Middleton met a number of YFCU members and CAFRE staff representing Arts Festival Gala, Bothar Goat Appeal, International Ambassadors and Greenmount Campus, and viewed photographic displays.
Following a few words of thanks from Mr Thoburn McCaughey, His Royal Highness accepted a gift of an illustrated history of Greenmount College entitled “Land of Learning” by Dr Derek Alexander. Miss Middleton accepted a gift of a posy of flowers.
His Royal Highness and Miss Middleton signed the visitors’ book before going outside to meet staff and students prior to departure.
Notes to Editors
HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton were greeted by Mrs Joan Christies OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim and went on to meet:
Councillor Pam Lewis, Mayor, Antrim Borough Council,
Mr David McCammick, Chief Executive, Antrim Borough Council,
Rev William McCrea, Member of Parliament for South Antrim,
Mr Gerry Lavery, Permanent Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,
Mr Thoburn McCaughey, President YFCU,
Mr John Fay, Director, CAFRE.
CAFRE: The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise, (CAFRE) is part of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD). CAFRE was formed in 2003 with campuses at Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, Greenmount, County Antrim and Loughry, County Tyrone. With about 200 residential students Greenmount Campus is the centre for agricultural and horticultural education and training and technology programmes designed to meet the needs of the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland
YFCU: The YFC founded in 1929 is an open, non-political body operating a network of 60 local self- governing youth led clubs representing 2,446 young members. A further 3,500 rural young people are estimated to participate and benefit from local Young Farmers Club activities and events.