1st December 2022
13 TEENAGERS EMBARK ON YEAR-LONG SKILLS DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE WITH ABP & CERTIFIED IRISH ANGUS
Christmas has come early for pupils representing Down High School Downpatrick, Friends’ School Lisburn; St. Killian’s College Carnlough and St. Louis Grammar Ballymena. That’s because each team is about to receive a mini-herd of Angus cross calves courtesy of the beef processor ABP and the Certified Irish Angus Producer Group. The calves are part of their reward for reaching the final of the 2022-2023 ABP Angus Youth Challenge. Over the next year they will have to rear their calves through to beef; pocketing the proceeds of their sale to ABP. Alongside the practical experience gained in beef farming, they will also work on special projects relating to sustainability designed to complement their GCSE studies. Supporting them on their projects will be four College of Agriculture Food Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) advisors who will mentor each team during their finalist journey. The 13 pupils are all in Yr. 11. During the finalist programme they will gain insights and an induction to one of the Europe’s leading meat processors travelling with ABP and Certified Irish Angus on an international study tour. The pupils will also benefit from professional instruction to prepare them for the world of work such as communication and interview skills.
The pupils learned of their success earlier this week in a special video broadcast on YouTube. Congratulating them on becoming finalists, George Mullan, Managing Director of ABP in Northern Ireland said, “The ABP Angus Youth Challenge finalist programme encourages young people who are interested in farming and food to explore forward-thinking ways for developing a sustainable agricultural system. They’ll be researching customer and consumer requirements and how to tackle challenges facing our industry from an environmental, economic and social perspective.”
To make it onto the finalist programme the pupils had to competed against 20 other school teams in a farm-to-fork exhibition at Halloween. Commenting on the role of the ABP Angus Youth Challenge, Charles Smith, General Manager of Certified Irish Angus added, “these young people are the future lifeblood of our industry. The ABP Angus Youth Challenge is connecting with them at a crucial stage of their education and giving them a bridge between school and working in our sector.”
The pupils’ performance across all aspects of the final stage will be continually assessed. At the end of the programme, one overall winning team will receive £1,000 cash prize and the ABP Angus Youth Challenge Cup for their school. Individual awards will also be presented for outstanding achievement.