Above: Grainne O’Donnell, Karen Campion, Louise Creagh and Louise Hickey from Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles were at the National Ploughing Championships this week, when they were presented with five Certified Irish Angus calves that they will rear as part of a unique school’s competition, organised by Certified Irish Angus in association with its partners ABP and Kepak.
RTE broadcaster Carl Mullan revealed the six schools that will progress as finalists in the Certified Irish Angus school’s competition at a special event at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois this week.
Among the finalist groups challenged to rear Angus calves were Grainne O’Donnell, Karen Campion, Louise Creagh and Louise Hickey from Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles.
The initiative, organised by Certified Irish Angus in association with its partners ABP and Kepak, has increased in popularity in recent years, with schools excelling from both urban and rural schools with farming and non-farming backgrounds.
The unique competition sees the student groups actively involved in the rearing of five Irish Angus cattle in order to allow them to gain an understanding of the care and attention that is required to produce top quality Irish beef under a sustainable family farming system.
Over the next 18 months, Grainne O’Donnell, Karen Campion, Louise Creagh and Louise Hickey will rear five Irish Angus calves while carrying out research on an important topic. The group will focus on the health benefits of eating Angus beef, highlighting the superior eating quality of Certified Irish Angus Beef to consumers, and profiling the value of red meat as part of a healthy balanced diet.
The competition organisers are now looking for enthusiastic Transition Year students across Ireland to be the next finalists of the popular competition.
Each finalist group will receive a once in a lifetime opportunity to rear five Angus calves for 18 months, while preparing a research project on a relevant topic. The project themes will cover the important topics of Improving Animal Genetics, Sustainable Agriculture , Farm Health and Safety and Increasing Consumer Awareness of the Quality of Irish Food and in Particular Irish Beef.
Each of the finalists will receive the financial benefit involved in the selling of the animals on completion of the project. The winning students also receive an additional grant of €2,000 for their further education.
Visit www.certifiedirishangus.ie/schools for information about the competition stages and how to enter. The closing date for entries is November 19.
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