It’s set to be an udderly exciting two years for Ag Science students at Ballymahon Vocational School, after three students were named finalists in the Certified Irish Angus Beef School competition.
Run by Irish Aberdeen-Angus Producers Ltd, the annual competition coincides with the Leaving Certificate Ag Science syllabus and aims to increase the knowledge of Aberdeen-Angus as a breed.
Fifth year students Enda Farrell, Niall McCormack and Tadhg Murtagh, with the help of their teacher Ms Emer Nolan, worked on the theme of farmer awareness, basing their project on the profits that can be made.
Far from being ‘on the hoof’, the boys’ own project has seen them put in a lot of hard work and great ideas to get to this stage in the competition.
The boys first had to pen a 200 word essay on how they would promote the preed. This was followed by a presentation in the Mullingar Park Hotel.
“In that, we outlined what we were going to do, where the cattle would go and how we were going to promote the brand in our area,” Niall explained.
They also showed their comedy sketch to the interview panel, which they had performed at Ballymahon mart.
“We dressed up as farmers and acted out all the typical farmer talk,” Niall continued. The team also carried out a survey on the breed at Granard mart.
Fast-forward to September, and the trio were being presented, as finalists, with their five Angus Cross calves at the National Ploughing Championships at Ratheniska.
Pointing out that all three students were from a farming background, Ms Nolan stated that the event was a great way for the young farmers to make contacts within the sector.
They will continue their project until 2017, at which point, an overall winner will be announced. In the meantime, the boys are taking the proverbial bull by the horns and continuing the project with the same energy and enthusiasm that has gotten them this far.
Over the next two years, the calves will be reared on Enda’s farm, and he revealed that they’re going to do it as low cost as possible, before pointing out that Angus cattle were a hardy breed, and early maturing.
“We’re hoping to have a few more comedy sketches,” Tadhg explained, while plans are also in the works for an Angus Fest - a barn dance with a twist!
All the while, the students will be carefully monitored in their progress, in the hopes of securing an extra cash prize.
For more information, and to keep up to date with the latest moos, search for BVS Irish Angus Boys on Facebook or @BVS_Irish_Angus on Twitter. The project is also live on Snapchat and Instagram.