Aughnacloy College’s ABP Angus Youth Challenge team reports on the project so far:
IT seems hard to believe that almost a year ago we, a small group of friends from a rural school, Aughancloy College, entered the ABP Angus Youth Challenge with nothing but a passion for farming and some great ideas.
We had no idea the impact of the opinions of five fifteen year olds (Jordan Anderson, Molly Bradley, Kirsty McNeill, Jack Todd and Aaron Bristow) would have.
But how did we get here? We went through several stages, the first being a short video clip giving a brief overview of ideas, the use of natural products, e.g seaweed and kefir, steering away from antibiotic use, the close tie between happy cows and happy farmers and making farming more cost effective, and passion for the agricultural industry.
Being successful we then moved on to an interview with a panel of five judges, who tested our knowledge of our ideas and theme. Proving our keen interest for the competition, we were then selected to move to an exhibition at Loughry College, visually presenting our ideas to various individuals with high status in the agriculture industry and beyond.
Finally, our present stage as finalists, one of four groups.
We were presented with the five calves at Balmoral Show and shortly after the calves hit the ground running on the farm.
In the following months we went on a study tour to England. This included a tour of ABP Ellesmere and its high tech facility, followed by a tour of a local farm which supplies to ABP. The trip was jam-packed with information we will find extremely helpful when rearing the calves.
We have had the chance to attend some successful events, one being County Comes To Town in Portadown where we had the chance to chat to people from a non-farming background and show off the calves to the younger audience.
We have found our use of natural products to not only be cost effective but to also show great results in our animals. Not only used in the calves, we have implemented our techniques into our own farms.
We have gained so many new skills and confidence. We also have had the chance to raise money for charities including McMillian Cancer support.
One of our greatest successes is the agriculture club we ourselves set up and run in our school.
For frequent updates on the calves, our progression in the competition and future events you can find our more on our Facebook page @Aughnacloy ABP Angus Youth Challenge 2019 or follow us on Instagram @Aughnacloy college Angus youth