Early Christmas present for Academy pupils who win mini-herd

Two Year 11 pupils from Banbridge Academy have received an early Christmas present of a mini-herd of Angus cross calves courtesy of ABP and the Northern Irish Angus Producer Group.

Gordon and Katie with Miss Kirsty Jess and Mr Robin McLoughlin OBE

Over the next year Gordon Porter and Katie Moore will have to rear the calves and sell them back to ABP as part of reaching the final stage of the ABP Angus Youth Challenge.

They are competing against three other school teams from Cookstown High School, Newtownhamilton High School and St Catherine’s College Armagh for the title of Overall Winners.

Alongside gaining practical experience in beef production, the teams will have to work on special projects that will support their GCSE studies. Banbridge Academy’s team project is ‘Positioning Northern Ireland as a Global Leader in Sustainable Beef Production’. A College of Agriculture Food Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) advisor will mentor them during the coming year. They will also benefit from first-hand insights into ABP’s sustainable business practices and be trained in communication and interview skills relevant to the world of work.

‘The Farming Five’- Alex Rowan, Lilia McKinney, Lucy Williams, Kerry Crothers, Charlotte Hull with Miss Kirsty Jess and Mr Robin McLoughlin OBE

There were actually two groups from the Academy who had been successful in getting through to the semi-final of the ABP Youth Challenge - ‘The Moovment’ – Gordon Porter and Katie Moore and ‘The Farming Five’ - Lucy Williams, Alex Rowan, Charlotte Hull, Lilia McKinney, Kerry Crothers.

To reach the final four, ‘The Moovement’ had to compete against 21 other teams at an exhibition which was judged by an independent panel of industry experts. heir performance across all aspects of the final stage will be continually assessed and at the end of the programme, one overall winning team will receive £1,000 cash prize for their school.

Mr McLoughlin, Headmaster, noted that the school community is extremely proud of Gordon and Katie’s success,