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25 May 2022

Longford students honoured for project on Certified Irish Angus Beef

Longford students honoured for project on Certified Irish Angus Beef

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD pictured with Ciara Gavigan, Rachel Maguire, Aileen Briody and Kate Mulvey from Mercy Ballymahon

Students from Mercy Secondary School in Ballymahon, were honoured for their participation in the Certified Irish Angus Schools (2020 - 2022) competition at an awards ceremony in Croke Park last Friday.

Rachel Maguire, Aileen Briody, Ciara Gavigan and Kate Mulvey completed a project on ‘How Certified Irish Angus Beef Improves Sustainability on Beef Farms’.

Their Agricultural Science teacher, Ms Avril Murphy, who comes from a pedigree Irish Angus farm, was delighted to have such an enthusiastic group of girls involved in this competition and interested in pursuing a future in the agricultural sector.

Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey Rachael Blackmore was the virtual special guest for this year’s awards ceremony.

Rachael, who hails from a farming background and has strong family links to farming, shared her experience of growing up on a farm; detailing how this positively impacted her love for animals, career and sporting achievements through instilling a good work ethic that allowed her to reach dreams beyond her wildest imagination.

Giving advice to the Schools Competition Finalists, Rachael said,

"Try and find something you enjoy doing, no matter what that is. What subject do you enjoy going in to class for? Try and find something in that area, because life will be a lot easier if you are enjoying what you do.

“That’s the most important thing I think, that you’re happy in whatever you are doing."

Rachel, Aileen, Ciara and Kate examined how the Angus breed helps to increase the reproductive efficiency on farm and explored the importance of the beef sector within the Irish economy.

In doing so, they highlighted the importance of promoting a breed of cattle that suits Irish farmer lifestyles.

Organised by the Irish Angus Producer Group, ABP and Kepak, the competition challenges students to rear five Irish Angus Cross calves for 18 months until their slaughter as part of their Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science project.

The calves were reared on Rachel Maguire's family farm in Ballynacargy, Co Westmeath.

The competition aims to promote the Certified Irish Angus Beef brand while communicating the care and attention required to produce quality beef for consumers.

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