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Cow about that!

March 17th, 2018 8:50 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Mark Shorten (left) and Conor Lehane from St Brogan's College, Bandon, winners of the Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools' Competition. (Chris Bellew, Fennell Photography)

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Top prize for local students

 

THE hard work over the past 18 months has paid off for Mark Shorten from Newcestown and Conor Lehane from Timoleague, students of St Brogan’s College in Bandon, who were named overall winners of the 2018 Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition in Dublin on Wednesday. 

The competition challenges students to rear five Irish Angus Cross calves for 18 months until their slaughter as part of their Leaving Cert Agricultural Science project.

Charles Smith, general manager of Irish Angus Producer Group described Mark and Conor as ‘exceptional students’ 

‘From the outset it was clear that Mark and Conor were two robust young farmers with a keen interest in dairy and beef farming. What became apparent over the course of the competition however was that they were also two exceptional students and mature young men who are outstanding ambassadors for themselves, their farms and their schools.

‘They demonstrated a passion and enthusiasm for the project but also exhibited a generosity of spirit through their charitable work and willingness to help other competitors throughout the process.’

Mark and Conor 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. They also used their involvement in the campaign to give back to their community by hosting an event to raise €1,600 for local charity, Cancer Connect, and donating a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of their calves to the West Cork Rapid Response Unit and to their school for use in supporting students with mental health issues.

They were also honoured at the West Cork Garda Division Youth Awards last December where they picked up the Group Award for their charitable work through the competition.

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