ABP has announced a new mentorship initiative with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) for its agri-skills development programme, the ABP Angus Youth Challenge.
Each team on the finalist programme will now benefit from a dedicated mentor selected from CAFRE’s beef and sheep advisory team. The mentors will work with their teams over the next 18 months, encouraging them to reach their full potential and inspiring them to apply best practice in the rearing of their Angus cross calves through to finishing.
Each team has been assigned a specific project to research. They will be able to tap in to CAFRE’s expertise relevant to their assignments by exploring and applying modern techniques and technologies that, for example, reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and the use of animal health plans.
Explaining the rationale behind the initiative, Liam McCarthy, who is Head of Supply Chain Development for ABP in Northern Ireland, said: “ABP is delighted that CAFRE is providing this valuable resource to our ABP Angus Youth Challenge participants. Covid-19 restrictions have created a challenging environment for the learning and development of our young people. The mentors will help bring an exciting and motivating dimension to the finalist programme. We believe this additional interaction for participants will be extremely beneficial to them during these difficult times.”
CAFRE’s Head of Beef & Sheep Branch, Paul McHenry, added: “Our advisors are looking forward to working with their mentees and bringing out the best in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge participants.”
The five finalist teams and their mentors are:
Ballymena Academy, County Antrim – Assignment theme: Future-proofing beef farming through agri-technology; Mentor: Stephen Flanagan.
Cross and Passion College, Ballycastle – Assignment theme: Exploring the benefits of a holistic approach to animal performance; Mentor: Natasha Ferguson.
Castle Tower School, County Antrim – Assignment theme: The Positive Impact of Farming & Agriculture on our Lives; Mentor: Hannah McNelis.
Magherafelt High School, County Londonderry – Assignment theme: Meeting expectations of consumers for a quality eating experience; Mentor: Jack Friar.
Omagh Academy, County Tyrone – Assignment theme: Explore the Opportunities for a low carbon Angus beef brand for Northern Ireland; Mentor: Gareth Beacom.