St. Aloysius College Carrigtwohill Beef it Up with National Irish Angus Competition

By Claire O’Donoghue


Five students at St. Aloysius College in Carrigtwohill have entered the Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools Competition. The event, run by the Irish Angus Producer Group based in Co.Cavan and co-sponsored by Kepak and ABP Food Group, began in 2014 with five groups of finalists announced every 2 years.

The team, made up of Rachel O’Gorman, Leah Catriona Buckley, Kelsey Harrigan, Emily O’Donovan and Helen Savage recently made it through to the final selection stage after making a video detailing their plans and going through a nerve-racking interview process. From 31 entry groups, 5 will be selected following an exhibition of their promotional ideas in Croke Park on 14 March. These 5 finalists will receive 5 Aberdeen Angus Cross calves to raise over 2 years through to slaughter. Overall winners after the two years are chosen based on their promotion of Angus Beef within their school and local communities. This special competition is for those with an interest in Agricultural Science, a subject that has been introduced in secondary schools over the past few years. Ag science is becoming more popular each year, with students keen to learn the practical and theoretical aspects of modern farming.

The team from St. Aloysius College plan to use today’s popularity of technology and social media as the main tool to promote the Angus Beef brand by creating a virtual farming gaming app aimed at young people. The app will centre around the rearing of Irish Angus calves and the completion of “on-farm” duties, while also giving facts and information on Irish Angus Beef.

Speaking with The East Cork Journal team member, Leah Catriona Buckley said, “Ag Science was an after-school subject until recently but it’s now a mainstream, timetabled choice for the Leaving Cert. What we also want to show as, an all-girl team in what has been seen as a male dominated area, is that the choice of farming and agriculture as a career should not depend on gender. Each of the team has a keen interest in all aspects of agriculture and we’re here to say that it can be, and is, an equal opportunity career choice. We’re bringing home the beef!”