Top of the class! Students selected to take part in esteemed calf-rearing competition announced
Irish Angus Producer Group reveal details of five school groups chosen for unique schools competition
Today, students from five schools around the country were invited to meet the Irish Angus calves that they will rear for 18 months as part of a unique competition. The Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition, run by Irish Angus Producer Group in association with ABP and Kepak, 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.
Following a competitive application process, students from Castleknock College, Dublin; Moate Community School, Westmeath; Sligo Grammar School; St. Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill and St. Louis Community School, Kiltimagh were chosen to progress to the next stage of the schools competition. Each student group vying to take place in the competition presented their project ideas to a panel of industry judges at a recent high profile event in Croke Park.
Speaking about the finalists, Charles Smith, General Manager Irish Angus Producer Group said,: “We were delighted to bring our students to Dovea Genetics in Thurles today to meet their calves for the first time. It is so encouraging to see such enthusiasm and ambition from students right across the country. The successful students were chosen from more than thirty school groups who were selected to present their ideas and they are very impressive young adults. Our training day today provides an opportunity for the students to meet their calves and fellow finalists, and to get an insight into the valuable experiences and challenges they will face over the next 18 months”.
The teams will each receive five Irish Angus Cross calves in September, which they will be required to rear for 18 months until their slaughter in 2021. In addition to rearing the calves, the schools will complete a project focussing on a different aspect of farming and the food chain. These include:
· Castleknock College: ‘The Benefits of Eating Beef as part of a Balanced Diet’ – the students from Castleknock College will explore how the Certified Irish Angus Beef brand can meet consumer needs and provide quality nutritional value to Irish diets. Some benefits of the Certified Irish Angus breed is the lower environmental impact to produce the beef, and the high welfare of the animals.
· Moate Community School: ‘Maximising the Benefit of Membership of Irish Angus Producer Group’ – the students from Moate Community School will explore the history of the Irish Angus breed and the value the Irish Angus Producer Group adds to assist farmers in rearing high quality beef for consumers.
· Sligo Grammar School: ‘Improving Irish Angus Genetics and their Benefits’ – the students from Sligo Grammar School will address the benefits of the breed for consumers, farmers and other stakeholders including ease of management and lower environmental impact.
· St. Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill: ‘Communicating with the Consumer & Producer’ – this group will investigate how the methods of communication have changed between farmers and consumers, and how the rise of social media has enhanced the communicative possibilities through the provision of open communication lines.
· St. Louis Community School, Kiltimagh: ‘Farming Traditions and Environmental Challenges in the West’ – this group will explore the value of farming to the community, the suitability of Irish Angus to farming systems in the West of Ireland and how farmers can improve their carbon footprint.
The Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition aims to allow students to apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom to a real-life setting. Each of the finalists will receive the financial benefit involved in the selling of the animals to the processors on completion of the project. The winning students also receive an additional grant of €2,000 for their further education.
For further information on the project visit www.angusproducergroup.com