A group St Louis students have won calves at Balmoral Show in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge Final and are preparing to rear them.
The team of Conall McCafferty from Dunloy, Thomas O’Kane from Newtown Crommelin, Peter Graham from Portglenone, will rear their Aberdeen Angus cross calves as part of the final stage of a province-wide agri-food skills competition for young people, the ABP Angus Youth Challenge.
They were presented with their calves by Managing Director of ABP in Northern Ireland, George Mullan, at a special prize-giving ceremony at the 150th Balmoral Show, compered by the TV Presenter Paul Clark.
The teenagers will now compete with three other schools Belfast Royal Academy, Rainey Endowed School Magherafelt and Enniskillen Royal Grammar School and take part in a skills development programme from farm to fork with ABP.
Each team will rear five Aberdeen Angus cross calves through to finishing and then sell their Angus cattle to ABP. The net profit after sale will be shared amongst their group.
Each team has 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.
St Louis Grammar finalists also have farming backgrounds. They will be working on the concept of Family Farms as a Driver of Sustainable Agriculture. The school’s Geography teacher is supporting them through the ABP Angus Youth Challenge.
The teams’ performance across all aspects of the final stage will be continually assessed to determine the overall winning group and the recipient of a £1,000 cash prize for their school. The ABP Angus Youth Challenge is organised in partnership with the Northern Irish Angus Producers Group.