Young farmers in the North aged 12-16 years old will have the chance to rear their own calves to finish as part of the Farmers of the Future programme.

ABP Food Group, in conjunction with Blade Farming Northern Ireland, launched the programme at this year’s Balmoral Show.

The aim of the initiative is to encourage young people into beef farming, educate them with regard to best rearing practices and promote farming as a long term career option.

The winners of the programme will receive six calves aged 14 weeks to rear through to finish in addition to the highest level of professional support and knowledge from ABP and industry experts.

The winners will get all the best professional guidance from the Blade Farming team throughout, the company says.

The prize to the winners is the proceeds of the sale of the six calves at 18 to 20 months, which will be in the region of £6,000.

Those who want to enter the programme need to submit 200 word proposal on why they should win via the Farmers of the Future website.

A final short list will be drawn from all entries and the winners will be announced in June. The closing date for entries is the June 5.

Arthur Callaghan, Blade Farming Northern Ireland, said that the company is always keen to inspire the next generation of farmers into the industry.

“The winners will receive the perfect stepping stone into a career in farming, being able to rear their own cattle along with the very best professional support,” he said.