Ballymahon students presented with Irish Angus Calves that they will rear for 18 months

Longford Leader reporter

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This week, students from Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon were presented with Irish Angus calves as part of the Certified Irish Angus schools’ competition.

The group, who were announced as finalists in April of this year, were delighted to meet the five calves that they will rear for the next 18 months.

Certified Irish Angus, in conjunction with its processing partners ABP and Kepak, runs the competition to educate second-level students about the care and attention required to produce Certified Irish Angus beef while also inspiring students to consider the Irish agri-food industry as a valuable career choice.

Rachel Maguire, Aileen Briody, Ciara Gavigan and Kate Mulvey from Mercy Ballymahon, welcomed the five Irish Angus calves who will be reared on Rachel's family farm.

Over the next 18 months, the group will also carry out a research project which will assist with their Agricultural Science studies.

The group will address How Certified Irish Angus Beef Improves Sustainability on Beef Farms.

Throughout the study, the students will highlight how the Angus breed helps to increase the reproductive efficiency of a farm and the importance of the beef sector within the Irish economy.

Charles Smith, General Manager for Certified Irish Angus said: “We are thrilled to present this year’s finalist groups with the Irish Angus calves that they will rear for the next 18 months.

“While other school activities may be cancelled, our unique competition provides a fantastic opportunity for these students to enjoy the nature we have to offer.

“Now more than ever, young people rely on the benefits of spending time outdoors for good physical and mental wellbeing.  Throughout the course of the competition, the finalists will gain the chance to learn about producing an award-winning beef product and discover the many career opportunities within our agri-food industry.”

The Longford group join students from Boherbue Comprehensive School, Cork; Gorey CS, Wexford; Carrick-on-Shannon CS, Leitrim and The Abbey School, Tipperary Town as the successful finalists for this year’s competition.

The Certified Irish Angus 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 on completion of the project. The winning students also receive an additional grant of €2,000 for their further education.

For further information on the project visit www.certifiedirishangus.ie