Ballymena Academy students shine at the 2021 Angus Youth Challenge

Three students from Ballymena Academy have taken part in the 2021 ABP Angus Youth Challenge Semi-Final.

They are competing against 10 other teams from schools across Northern Ireland to win a finalist place in ABP Angus Youth Challenge agri-skills development programme.

The role of genetics and grass-based systems in helping reduce carbon emissions from beef farming; the advantage of marketing Northern Ireland’s family farm tradition and animal welfare standards to today’s consumer were just some of the topics presented by the semi-finalists.

Ballymena Academy also have another team through to the finalist programme. The other schools participating were; Cookstown High entered two team, Dalriada School; Enniskillen Royal Grammar who entered two teams, Friends School Lisburn, the Royal School Armagh; St Kevin’s College in Lisnaskea, St Patrick’s Maghera and Wallace High School.

Ballymena Academy students Anna Duffin, Sarah Chesney and Marian Farquhar completing their final preparations ahead of the ABP Angus Youth Challenge semi-final

Congratulating the Ballymena Academy participants on reaching the semi-final, MD of ABP in Northern Ireland, George Mullan said: “ABP would like to congratulate all the semi-finalists for taking part in the competition during an exceptionally challenging time in their school-lives. I would also like to acknowledge the support of the schools and their families in helping them prepare so well for the judging interviews.”

The teams that will progress through to the finalist programme will be announced in June. For those teams that do make it through, their prize from ABP will be winning five Aberdeen Angus cross calves to rear through to finishing over an 18-month skills development programme. They will benefit financially from the sale of their calves to ABP and one overall winning team at the end of the programme will also receive £1,000 cash for their school.

Mrs L Reid,Head of Agriculture at Ballymena Academy with ABP Angus Youth Challenge semi-finalists Anna Duffin, Sarah Chesney and Marian Farquhar