Two students at St Brogan’s College in Bandon, Co Cork 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 Ploughing Championships in September 2016.
Mark Shorten, Enniskeane and Conor Lehane, Timoleague, will rear the calves through to slaughter, vying with pupils from four other schools for a national winner’s prize of €2,000 in 2018.
The Irish Angus Producer Group and its processor partners, ABP Food Group and Kepak Group, invited Transition Year students to take in this national competition, which 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.
There’s a prize of €2,000 for the overall national winner of the five-stage competition, which started with each ebntrant group making a five-minute submission on the benefits of Angus beef.
Then five experts interviewed candidates, after which 20 successful groups make a short presentation at a national event in the Croke Park Exhibition Centre.
In the next stage, five successful finalist groups are each given five six-month old Irish Angus Cross Calves to rear and sell through to slaughter as two-year-olds in Kepak or ABP meat plants, coinciding with their Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science project submission for that year.
The finalists also submit a final report on the two-year experience of rearing their animals.
The 2016 national winners were recently named, at event in the Croke Park Exhibition Centre.
They are Laura Clancy, Clionadh Condon, Aoife Dullea and Meabhdh Sexton, of Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, Co Cork.
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