Irish Angus Beef Competition
CBS Thurles Runners up at National Irish Angus Beef Competition
Congratulations to CBS Thurles students Niall Molony and Kieran Cummins who were runners up in the Certified Irish Angus Beef Competition. The students were given the exciting opportunity to participate in a very practical national competition which saw them being presented with five Angus cross calves at the National Ploughing Championships two years ago.
The students spent the next eighteen months rearing the animals before they eventually went to slaughter. The boys then presented their findings on a range of issues such as sustainability, meat quality, animal welfare and marketing.Kieran and Niall will also have the added bonus of being able to use this competition as the basis for their Leaving Cert Agricultural Science project this year.
The history of the Competition
Students at CBS Thurles and Presentation Secondary School Thurles are two of five school finalists to win an exciting opportunity to participate in a very special and practical national competition which they will use as part of their Leaving Cert Ag Science project. This opportunity gives a first hand and extremely practical experience to these young people, possibly the farmers of the future.
Irish Angus Producer Group along with its partners, ABP and Kepak, invited current Transition Year students to apply for an opportunity to participate in an exciting project. Students and their schools from all over the country applied for the chance to participate in this competition with a total prize fund in excess of €12,000. From a total of 64 school applicants, 5 finalists were chosen, two of which are CBS Thurles and Presentation Secondary School, Thurles.
What and Who is Certified Irish Angus Beef? Certified Irish Angus beef is one of the few integrated beef production systems in Ireland today. It incorporates a large grouping of farmers who get paid a premium price for producing cattle suitable for the Certified Irish Angus Beef Scheme which are processed in ABP and Kepak for the top Irish and European retailers and beef outlets. In an effort to encourage and promote the breeding of Angus cattle and increase awareness among consumers of this superior product, this grouping has come together to create this competition and are thrilled with the enthusiastic and ambitious students that succeeded in becoming the five finalists.
The students from CBS Thurles and Presentation Secondary School, Thurles will receive five Angus cross calves at the National Ploughing Championships in September 2014. The calves will be reared to slaughter on the farms of the students over the following 18 months and then slaughtered in one of the ABP or Kepak plants. The students will present their findings on every aspect of the production of the calves, along with investigating the wider elements of the production of Certified Irish Angus beef such as:
- Sustainability at all levels from farm production right up to retail and end consumer
- Meat Quality and all the factors that influence this through the production cycle
- Farmer Margin and factors that influence thisAnimal Welfare and its impact on animal performance and meat quality
- Marketing and the need to have consumers understand how special and unique Certified Irish
In April 2016, a final winner will be chosen based on the quality of the project put forward by the students and the performance of the calves they have received.
Calves in the Classroom
The following links give an insight to the work that the students are doing at present.