2022 ABP Youth Challenge Award winners announced

Pupils from Cookstown High School and Newtownhamilton High School have become joint winners of the 2022 ABP Angus Youth Challenge.

The Cookstown High School team impressed the judges with their passion for agriculture. During the Challenge, John-Mark McCrea, William Hamilton and Ben Smyton, who are in Yr. 12, focused on ‘Sustainable Agriculture Delivering for the Community.’ Their project presented a positive manifesto for agriculture. They promoted the importance of farming and food production in the U.K. and the beneficial role that agriculture plays in the community along with how to integrate concern for the environment into food production.

Meanwhile Aimee McCombe, Ellen Bailie and Sophie McKnight from Newtownhamilton High School explored ‘Sustainable Beef Consumption and the Young Consumer.’

The Yr. 11. trio looked at the nutritional value of beef with an emphasis on its vitamin content. They explored young people’s understanding of the vitamins that can acquired from consuming beef and implemented awareness-raising activities including a farm to fork festival & tractor run and a book of beef recipes.

The winners received their trophies and a £1,000 cheque for each school from Managing Director of ABP in Northern Ireland, George Mullan and the General Manager of the Certified Irish Angus Producer Group, Charles Smith. Congratulating the winners Mr Mullan said, “This competition challenges young minds to uncover the facts about beef production for themselves. It gives them the chance to actively experience and benefit from Angus beef farming and to develop the skills needed to work in our sector.  I am delighted to see recognition continue to grow within our school’s community for the beneficial influence and impact the Challenge is having on a diverse range of young people and for the positive profile it is providing for agriculture as a subject or a career choice.

Joint Runners-up were Dalriada School, Ballymoney and St Catherine’s College Armagh. Outstanding Individual Achievement Awards went to Lois McCurdy from Dalriada School (Summer teams) and Jonathan Burrows from Cookstown High School (Winter teams).

The awards ceremony took place in the Logan Hall Balmoral Park in front of assembled guests of teachers, parents and industry stakeholders. Meanwhile 24 school teams also took part in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge Exhibition for a place in the 2022-2023 finalist programme and the chance to win their own Angus cross calves to rear.