Although Edel Madden grew up on a farm in Ireland, she never considered a career in Agriculture.
That was until she spent a couple of years travelling, including a year in New Zealand, where she worked in a rural town in Otago - Oamaru.
“When I returned home, I realised it was an industry that I had developed a passion for and one I knew I wanted to work in.”
Edel has recently graduated with a BSc (Hons) Agriculture from The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester.
“Going to university was the best decision I have ever made.” Edel says since graduating in June, she has already seen many opportunities open up for her.
“While studying I had the chance to visit pioneering, innovative farms and work on both an arable and pedigree suckler farm.”
After graduating, Edel took on a role as a technician at The Centre for Dairy Research (CEDAR) located on one of the University of Reading’s farms. CEDAR is a state-of-the-art facility for all aspects of livestock research.
Studies carried out here involve topics such as milk composition and human health, dairy cow nutrition, the environmental impacts of meat and milk production and much more.
The farm is home to 550 milking Holstein cows, averaging more than 10,000 litres of milk per cow, per year. However, the meat and growth research unit expands the capabilities beyond dairy research, including research involving beef, sheep, poultry and llamas.
“Every day here is busy, but what I love most is everyday is different. I feel special being a part of a team that is working to overcome the challenges that the agricultural industry face and strive to improve the productivity of traditional farming methods - keeping the industry thriving.”
A passion of Edel’s is livestock nutrition. Working with feed trials and projects such as’ The Diverse Forages Project,’ led by the University of Reading has given Edel the opportunity to continue her learning after University.
“The saying every day is a school day is definitely the case at CEDAR.”
Although she is only beginning her journey in the agricultural sector, she is looking forward to seeing what other doors open for her.
“I have been lucky to have had countless opportunities to make valuable connections with both academics and industry professionals and work on developing my career. I am excited to see what the future holds.”