The ‘steaks’ are high for Davis College students
MALLOW TEAM TAKE CHARGE OF CALVES UNDER ANGUS BEEF COMPETITION
A QUARTET of enterprising students from Davis College in Mallow are set to ‘ beef up’ their CVs after taking charge of five Irish Angus calves as part of their role in a prestigious secondary schools competition.
Earlier this year the team of Pierce Buckley, Noah Butler, Roisin Scully and Emily O’Callaghan were among 34 to be shortlisted from schools across the country to take part in the 2017 Certified Irish Angus Beef competition.
At the recent National Ploughing Championships they, along with four other winning teams, were presented with their own mini herds by RTÉ’S Miriam O’Callaghan.
Having spent three days enjoying the atmosphere of the event and chatting to curious farmers about the competition, the students are now getting down to the hard work of rearing the calves over the next 18-months before the animals are sent to slaughter in 2019.
In addition to rearing the calves, each of the schools will complete a detailed project focusing on a different aspect of farming and the food chain.
These will include such issues as mental health and well-being among farmers, the viability of Dairy Cross Angus beef production, the importance of Irish agriculture and the role of production planning.
The team from Davis College has been tasked with analysing the factors that affect the quality of beef, exploring its flavour profile and developing a creative approach to highlighting its versatility and making beef more appealing to children and families.
The project is aimed at giving participating students the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge to real-life settings and encouraging second-level students to gain a greater understanding of the care and attention needed to produce and market top quality beef.
The practical experience they gain through participating in the initiative will also be of substantial benefit to to the students in their agricultural science and business studies and could play a pivotal role in their third level choices.
In addition to keeping the money they make from selling the calves to processors at the end of the project, each of the teams will also receive a grant of €2,000 toward the cost of their further education.
Charles Smith of the Irish Angus Producer Group, which runs the initiative along with ABP Ireland and the Kepak Group, said judges were impressed with the detailed submission initially made by the Davis College team.
“In fact, the judging panel were incredibly impressed with the calibre of project ideas and the thought, planning and time that each of the 34 shortlisted schools put in. The panel, which is comprised of leading figures within the Irish agri-food industry found it almost impossible to narrow it down to just five,” said Mr Smith.
“We are delighted with the final result and know that the Mallow team and the other four finalists will bring something unique to the competition,” he added.
Davis College student Pierce Buckley, Roisin Scully, Emily O’Callaghan and Noah Butler with Miriam O’Callaghan at the recent National Ploughing Championships.