11 school teams took part in the 2021 ABP Angus Youth Challenge, the agri-skills development programme for teenagers from the meat processor ABP. The schools represented were: Ballymena Academy; Cookstown High, who entered two teams; Dalriada School; Enniskillen Royal Grammar who also entered two teams; Friends School Lisburn; the Royal School Armagh; St Kevin’s College Lisnakea; St Patrick’s Maghera and Wallace High School.
Congratulating the participants on reaching this year’s semi-final stage, Managing Director of ABP in Northern Ireland, George Mullan said, “ABP would like to congratulate all the semi-finalists for taking part in the competition during an exceptionally challenging time in their school-lives. I would also like to acknowledge the support of the schools and their families in helping them prepare for the judging interviews.”
The teams that will progress through to the finalist programme will be announced in June. For those teams that do make it through, their prize from ABP will be winning five Aberdeen Angus cross calves to rear through to finishing over an 18-month skills development programme. They will benefit financially from the sale of their calves to ABP and one overall winning team at the end of the programme will also receive a £1,000 cash prize for their school.
The ABP Angus Youth Challenge is organised in partnership with the Northern Irish Angus Producer Group. Its General Manager Charles Smith added, “On behalf of the judging panel, I would like to commend all the pupils for their impressive research into Angus beef production and the passion they demonstrated for many aspects of Northern Ireland’s rich farming and agri-food heritage. Notwithstanding the difficult circumstances, ABP and the Angus Producer Group are committed to offering teenagers the opportunity of benefiting from this competition” Helping judge this year’s semi-final were representatives from the Livestock & Meat Commission NI and the CAFRE.