St. Louis trio win ABP Angus Youth Challenge
The boys - Conal McCafferty, Thomas O’Kane and Peter Graham -learned of their success via a YouTube video news bulletin The sponsors, the meat processor ABP and the Northern Ireland Angus Producer Group, commissioned the video in response to Coronavirus social distancing measures preventing them holding a live event. The bulletin included a dedication to all the finalists from the Ireland Ladies Hockey Captain, Katie Mullan on how growing up on a farm has taught her valuable life lessons to help her succeed in the face of challenges.
The boys entered the ABP Angus Youth Challenge in 2017 and made it on to the finalists’ skills development programme in April 2018. Since then they have been competing against three other finalist teams from Belfast Royal Academy, Enniskillen Royal Grammar and Rainey Endowed Magherafelt to become the overall winners and the recipient of a cheque for £1,000 for their school.
This has seen them rear five Aberdeen Angus cross calves through to beef; sell them to ABP for financial reward and complete a research assignment. The boys’ theme was to demonstrate the value of family farming to drive sustainability.
Congratulating the winners on their success, the Managing Director of ABP, George Mullan said; “Our first set of ABP Angus Youth Challenge award winners complete the 2018-2020 programme with a proud legacy. They have set the bar very high for those who are following in their footsteps. ABP introduced this initiative to help bridge the gap between school and employment. Already we are seeing participants taking the next steps towards working in agri-food and the benefitting from taking part.”
Charles Smith, General Manager of the Northern Ireland Aberdeen Angus Group, added: “The overall winning team’s detailed record-keeping demonstrated a deep level of understanding of the full cost of production. They showed entrepreneurial flair and an understanding of how the family farming model can address the needs of today’s consumer including animal welfare. Well done to all the award winners and our sincerest thanks to the schools and their families for supporting them.”