Broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan presented students from Roscommon Community College with five Irish Angus Cross calves at last week’s National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore as part of the Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition run by the Irish Angus Producer Group, along with, ABP Ireland and Kepak.
The competition 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.
Teams from Roscommon Community College; St. Joseph’s Mercy Secondary School, Navan; 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. Roscommon Community College students Keelan Gallagher, John Cunniffe and Sean Trundle will complete a project titled: The Value of Irish Angus in Suckler Systems, which will explore the contribution of Angus to suckler systems. Some of the advantages of choosing an Angus bull include how output can be increased, coupled with environmental and animal welfare benefits.
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.