At an awards ceremony in Croke Park last week Jack Connaughton, Sarah Muldoon and Louise Payne from Athlone Community College were announced as the runners up of the 2018 Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition.
Organised by Irish Angus Producer Group, ABP and Kepak, the initiative challenges students to rear five Irish Angus Cross calves for 18 months until their slaughter, as part of their Leaving Certificate agricultural science project.
The group from Athlone Community College raised their calves on Pat Harrison’s farm in Brideswell. Their project explored how farm standards, including health, safety and farm organisation, influenced the performance of the animals on the farm. The competition aims to encourage second level students to gain an understanding about the care and attention that is required to produce and market the highest quality beef for consumers.
The judges included representatives from Bord Bia, The Irish Farmers Journal, ABP, Kepak, National Ploughing Association, Tesco Ireland and a number of full-time farmers. Each of the finalists received the cash from the selling of the animals to the processors on completion of the project, which amounted to an average €6,550. The winning students also receive an additional grant of €2,000 for their further education.
Mark Shorten and Conor Lehane from St Brogan’s College, Bandon, Cork, were announced as the overall winners of the competition. The pair investigated the benefits of Irish Angus cross Friesian calves for a mixed dairy and beef farm and presented their findings at every opportunity at local co-ops, marts and events.
For further information on the project visit www.angusproducergroup.com