Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Education Minister congratulates ABP Angus Youth Challenge winners

A group of pupils from Omagh Academy is taking the ABP Angus Youth Challenge Cup home to County Tyrone for their winning project on ‘Exploring the potential of a low carbon Angus beef brand.’

Joshua Keys, Tori Robson, James Fleming, Jill Liggett and Allister Crawford have been taking part in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge finalist programme since 2020 along with four other teams from Ballymena Academy, Castle Tower School Ballymena, Cross & Passion Ballycastle and Magherafelt High School.

The Omagh Academy team impressed the judges with its understanding of the challenges to the climate posed by emissions, and its ability to convey in a practical and positive way the steps farmers can take to mitigate the impact of livestock production to produce sustainable beef for consumers.

Ballymena Academy was runner-up at the awards ceremony, which was held in the Logan Hall, Balmoral Park. Its research assignment explored ‘future-proofing beef farming through technology’.

Meanwhile, Castle Tower’s team and teacher received a Highly Commended award for how they brought their passion for farming to life.

Two pupils were also singled out for individual awards. Ruth Sheppard from Magherafelt High School won the award for Outstanding Achievement by an Individual and Jessica Livingstone from Ballymena Academy was given a Judges’ Special Merit award.

The Minister for Education, Michelle McIlveen, attended the event as Guest of Honour. In her speech she congratulated the award winners and all the finalists for completing their 18-month agri-skills development programme.

The Minister said: “The ABP Angus Youth Challenge is a won-derful example of school/ employer engagement and activity. It demon-strates a shared interest in, and shared responsibility for, the future of the young people involved.

“Through collaboration there is a mutual benefit for both the young people and for employers who share their expertise with the future workforce. I have no doubt that the ABP Angus Youth Challenge has and will continue to enhance the learning experiences and employability skills of the young people involved.”

The competition is delivered by

the agri-food company ABP in partnership with the Northern Irish Angus Producer Group. Presenting the Omagh Academy team with a cheque for £1,000 for the school, Managing Director of ABP in Northern Ireland, George Mullan, said: “We introduced the ABP Angus Youth Challenge so that young people could gain skills and a practical experience of our sector. Notwithstanding the pandemic, we were determined that the ABP Angus Youth Challenge would continue to nurture the skills and experience necessary for the world of work.”

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