Following a busy week at the National Ploughing Championships – where the Irish Angus Producer Group hosted 22 secondary school students as part of the Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools competition – the organisation is now seeking applications for next year’s programme.

The competition – sponsored by ABP and Kepak – is now in its fifth year and aims to encourage second-level students to gain an understanding about the care and attention that is required to produce and market the highest-quality beef for consumers.

Each year, five school groups from around the country are chosen to receive five Irish Angus cross calves which they rear to slaughter as part of their Leaving Certificate agricultural science project.

Charles Smith, general manager of the Irish Angus Producer Group said: “We are searching for the next batch of enthusiastic students with a strong interest in agriculture and food production to apply for the next phase of our programme starting in 2019.

“We are incredibly proud to have worked alongside some really impressive school groups over the years who have demonstrated a keen interest in learning about all aspect of the food production system and the hard work which our farmers carry out day in day out to produce our food,” he said.

The project 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.

The students are also required to set milestones through the lifetime of the animals, rear them through to slaughter and visit processing and retail facilities to understand how the food chain works.

Application Process

The Irish Angus Producer Group is currently seeking video applications from transition year students with a keen interest in promoting excellence in beef production.

Videos should be submitted before the closing date of November 9 (Friday), 2018.

Following an extensive interview process, 30 schools will be shortlisted to present their project ideas to industry at an event in Croke Park in March 2019.

The five groups will then each receive a number of Angus cross calves to rear as part of their Leaving Certificate agricultural science project at the National Ploughing Championships in 2019.