On Thursday September 20th at the National Ploughing Championships, RTE's Miriam O’Callaghan presented students from St. Josephs Mercy Secondary School with the passports for the five Irish Angus Cross calves which they will today bring home with them to rear as part of the Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition.
The competition which is run by the Irish Angus Producer Group, along with its processor partners, ABP Ireland and Kepak aims to encourage second level students to gain an understanding about the considerable care and attention that is required to produce and market the highest quality beef for consumers.
Students from St. Joseph’s Mercy Navan as well as teams from Roscommon Community college; Royal School, Cavan; St. Ita’s School, Drogheda, Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna and Colaiste Treasa, Kanturk were selected following a competitive process earlier this year to receive the Irish Angus calves to rear for the next 18 months until their eventual slaughter in 2019.
In addition to rearing the calves, the schools will complete a project focussing on a different aspect of farming and the food chain. St. Josephs Mercy Secondary School students Amy Everard, Francesca McKenna, Saidhbh Gaffney-Bent, Ciara Smith and Katie Tully will complete a project titled: Women in Agriculture, which will research the challenges for women in agriculture, farming as a way of life and the benefits of rearing Irish Angus cattle on a family farm.
The Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition aims to allow students to apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom to a real-life setting. Each of the finalists will receive the financial benefit involved in the selling of the animals to the processors on completion of the project. The winning students also receive an additional grant of €2,000 for their further education.