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Angus Beef Competition

Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition

 

In November 2016, we entered the competition known to us at the time as “The Angus Thing”. The competition became known to us by our TY Co-ordinator and Agricultural science teacher Miss. Hession. She approached us as the farmers in the class wondering would be interested in entering a competition to win five Angus calves.

We first submitted a three-minute video to the Irish Angus Producer Group in Virginia, Co. Cavan displaying our ideas for promotion of Certified Irish Angus Beef to both farmers and consumers, an understanding of the sponsors (ABP, Kepak, Irish Angus Producer Group) and a bit about Agricultural Science in the school. We spend weeks filming and producing it ourselves on a school IPad.

While on an Organic Farm Walk on John’s Farm we were notified that we had made it past the first stage of the competition. An interview in Mullingar on the 17th of January loomed. We engulfed ourselves in the competition from then on. We began to gather contacts and information about the breed and the sponsors of the competition.

We squeezed into school blazers and off we went to the Mullingar Park Hotel. We were quizzed on our video by the judges, two from the Producer group, an Agricultural Science teacher, and a representative each from Kepak and ABP. One week later we got the good news that we were successful in the interview and an exhibition in Croke Park on the 15th of March was on the horizon.

From this point on bringing the calves home was our main focus. We left no stone unturned before Croke Park, tracing down any relevant contact, attending marts, visiting restaurants, taking farmer questionnaires, and gathering any relevant information. With the help of Valerie Keaveney, Ms. Hession and various teachers we designed our display for Croke Park. We focused on various aspects for our display such as ICBF euro-star ratings, Beter Leven (Dutch) animal welfare standards, advantages of Angus’, the farmer’s views, how we would rear the calves and our overall promotion of Certified Irish Angus Beef.

At Croke Park the 120 schools from the start was whittled down to 34. Industry experts judged us such as representatives from The Irish Farmers Journal, ABP, Kepak, Bord Bia, Tesco and UCD to name a few. The day consisted of us presenting our ideas to judges to convince them to give us the calves.

In the end the work was worth it and we were successful in winning the calves. We were assigned with the theme of ‘Mental Health and Well-Being among Farmers’ along with sub-headings such as ‘Organic Farming’, ‘TB Compensation’ and the ‘Benefit of Tidy Farms’. We will receive the 6-month-old Angus cross calves at the 2017 National Ploughing Championships after we complete the three days talking to members of the public. Another four schools were selected alongside us to get the calves. We are in competition with these schools to get the overall winner’s prize of €2000 in March 2019 after the cattle are slaughtered.

The competition has brought us to a lot of people and places such as meeting IFA president, Joe Healy, European Agricultural Commissioner Phil Hogan and MEP Mairead McGuinness to name a few. We’d like to sincerely thank everyone in the school who helped and supported us along the way, we hope to see you at the ploughing!

 

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Glenamaddy Community School, Church Street, Glenamaddy, Via Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, F45KF50

 

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