Five pupils from Aughnacloy College, Dungannon have won their own calves as Finalists in an agri-food skills competition backed by the meat processor, ABP.
The competition, known as the ABP Angus Youth Challenge, offers young people interested in working in the agri-food sector the chance to gain hands-on experience and employability skills.
The other schools who have reached the final are Fivemiletown College, the Belfast Royal Academical Institution and Wallace High School Lisburn. All teams will now embark on a farm-to-fork skills development programme with ABP.
This will entail each team rearing their five Aberdeen Angus cross calves through to beef and selling them to ABP. The net profit after sale will be shared amongst their group. Each team has also been assigned a special project to develop over the next 18 months. Their projects will challenge them to explore innovative and forward-looking techniques and proposals for the future benefit of meat production in Northern Ireland.
The team of boys and girls from Aughnacloy College will be looking an enhancing animal health naturally; alternative feeds and the reduction of treatments during rearing. And the teams’ performances across all aspects of the final stage will be continually assessed.
One overall winning team will receive £1,000 cash prize for their school.
The finalists were selected on the basis of entry by video and panel interview which was then followed by a semi-final exhibition judged by an independent panel of industry experts.
Last year’s finalists were Belfast Royal Academy, Enniskillen Royal Grammar; Rainey Endowed Magherafelt and St Louis Grammar, Ballymena. They are due to complete their final stage at the end of 2019. The ABP Angus Youth Challenge is organised in partnership with the Northern Irish Angus Producers Group.