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New Agri-food skills competition launches for NI Teens

Young people with an interest in a career in agri-food production are being invited to compete in an innovative skills-based competition. ‘The ABP Angus Youth Challenge’ has been launched by ABP in...

Following shortlisting by video and interview, three finalist teams will be awarded five Aberdeen Angus calves each at next year’s Balmoral Show. The teams will rear their calves through to finishing and fully benefit from the net profit at sale of the calves to ABP. An additional £1,000 cash prize will be awarded to one overall winning team. All finalists will receive skills development, inductions and insights into the meat production supply chain from farm to retail presentation over the course of an 18-month programme with ABP.

Explaining why ABP is investing in this initiative, George Mullan, ABP NI Managing Director said, “This competition reaches out to enthusiastic young people at a crucial stage in their education when they are thinking about career opportunities open to them. Entrants do not need to live on or have access to a farm to take part. We are interested in hearing from young people who can demonstrate a keen interest in getting into agriculture or agri-food production. These may be for example, pupils who are studying for the CCEA GCSE in Agriculture and Land Use.”

Entries will be accepted from teams of 2-5 individuals in Years 11 & 12 or aged 14-16. Teams can choose to represent a local school, club or society. The competition is also open to an ambitious group of friends who have what it takes to impress the judges. Shortlisting will be based on producing a short video followed by interview, exploring who they are, their understanding of ABP; the Aberdeen Angus breed and their interest in agriculture and food production.

The ABP Angus Youth Challenge is an evolution of ABP’s Farmers of the Future competition which awarded two Northern Ireland secondary school pupils with Angus calves. 2015-2017 winners Owen McGreevy from Dromore, Co. Down and Caleb McHaffey, from Donaghcloney, Co. Armagh won six Angus calves for rearing and sale back to ABP at a substantial profit gain. It also builds on a sister competition in the Republic of Ireland organised by the Irish Angus Producers Group and co-sponsored by ABP that attracts entries from over 90 schools.

The closing date for receipt of video entries to the ABP Angus Youth Challenge is 22nd December 2017.

Having access to the right people with the right skills and mindset about a career in the agri-food sector is going to be crucial to the success of a sustainable local agri-food industry in the years ahead.

George Mullan, ABP NI Managing Director

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