The first Institute of Horticulture (IoH) Ireland Education Day was held at University College Dublin on the 25 June 2013. This day-long event was the first gathering of horticulture educationalists from educational institutions in Ireland. The meeting was organised by the Ireland Branch of the Institute of Horticulture.
Dr Owen Doyle FI Hort, IoH Ireland Branch Chair said “Horticulture, which is the art, science, business and technology of plant cultivation for human use, is vital for human health and wellbeing, and as educationalists we should spread this message and convey the importance of horticulture for life on this planet”
A total of twenty-four lecturers, teachers and administrators who provide horticulture education met to discuss key issues facing horticulture in Ireland. The group discussed student progression in horticulture education, career development for graduates and advocacy for horticulture to policy makers, the general public and to primary and secondary level education.
The considerable interest in part-time horticulture educational programmes was clear and concern was expressed regarding the lack of funding for such students. Two Working Groups were established. The first to address the gaps in information about the horticulture industry in Ireland and a second group to work on horticulture advocacy to promote the profession and highlight the contribution that horticulture can make to the global issues of climate change, biodiversity, malnutrition and human wellbeing.
The Institute of Horticulture, which represents professional horticulturists in Great Britain and Ireland, was established in 1984 and currently has more than 1200 members, including student members.