Farmers Refusing To Take On 'Snowflake' Veterinary Students

Farmers Refusing To Take On 'Snowflake' Veterinary Students

Farms are quite the culture shock if you're not used to them. Cattle and other animals can be fairly intimidating up close, and seeing how everything runs can be quite eye-opening. Farming is not for everyone, as two veterinary students from UCD recently found out.

A Cork pig farmer told the Irish Independent he would no longer take students who didn't come from an agricultural background. The decision came after the students made a complaint to the Department of Agriculture about the farm.

We put the two students in boots and they went working in the shed. Later that day they came back crying as they didn't like the way one of our workers was shouting at the pigs when moving them," he said. "They never came back, and reported us to the Department of Agriculture.

The department inspected us and of course everything was found to be perfect but that complaint is still on the record and risked putting our name in the gutter. After that we decided never to take on students that don't come from farming backgrounds.

Shane McAuliffe, a Kerry farmer said this was not an isolated case. He labelled some students part of a "snowflake generation" that are disconnected from farming. A new term, 'Snowflake generation' was one of Collins Dictionary's 2016 words of the year. It is a term used to categorise the current generation of young adults, who are viewed by older generations as being less resilient and prone to taking offence.


Professor Michael Doherty, Dean and Head of the School of Veterinary Medicine at UCD, said any students who are not from farms will work in farm veterinary practice, and need to get exposure to farm-based activities.

Helena Madden, chair of the Recent Graduate Working Group of Veterinary Ireland, said many of her close vet friends weren't from farming backgrounds and are some of the best vets she knows.

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Joe O'Gorman

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