ST Brogan’s College students Mark Shorten, Enniskeane, and Conor Lehane, Timoleague, have been selected from hundreds of entries as finalists in the Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition and will be presented with five Angus calves at the National Ploughing Championships in September.
The Certified Irish Angus Beef School Competition offers a unique opportunity for Agricultural Science students, bringing the Beef and Dairy Cattle module of the syllabus to life in a bottom-up, hands-on manner. The Irish Angus Producer Group together with its processor partners, ABP Food Group and Kepak Group, invited groups of transition year students to take part in this novel competition which has enjoyed resounding success.
Key stages of the competition are as follows:
1. Initial group submission of a five-minute clip on the benefits of Angus beef and the food processing industry;
2. A panel of five experts interview candidates;
3. A short presentation follows for 20 groups of successful candidates at Croke Park Exhibition Centre, culminating in five successful groups being chosen as finalists.
4. Finalists proceed to the National Ploughing Championships in September and each group is given five six-month old Irish Angus-cross calves to rear and sell through to slaughter as two-year-olds in either Kepak or ABP Meat Plants, coinciding with project submission for Agricultural Science Studies for Leaving Certificate of that given year.
5. Students submit a final report on the two-year experience of rearing their animals, successes and challenges encountered in the Certified Irish Angus Beef production process;
6. One overall winner receives a further prize of €2,000.
Last month, a team of four students of Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, were declared overall winners of the 2014 Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition at the end of their two-year project.