Students from St. Killian’s College, Carnlough in Co. Antrim have been named today (Friday, October 27) as the winners of the 2022-2023 ABP Angus Youth Challenge.

The three Year 12 students from St. Killian’s College, were crowned overall winners of the event, despite enthusiastic competition from across the North.

The winning students; Emma Mitchell, Alex McAlister and Peter Agnew – who all come from farming families – impressed the judges with their sense of pride and responsibility in carrying on the agricultural traditions of the Glens of Antrim.

According to the judges, they “demonstrated real leadership by bringing their year-long assignment ‘A Health Approach to Agriculture’ to life with the help of their College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) mentor Sineád Mathers.

The assignment included promoting sustainable agriculture through the establishment of an ECO Club in their school and they also shared information and advice about soil health; mental health and animal health with the wider community through participation in the “Heart of the Glens Festival.”

The students received the ABP Angus Youth Challenge Cup and a £1,000 cheque from managing director of ABP in Northern Ireland, George Mullan and general manager of the Certified Irish Angus Producer Group, Charles Smith.

This year’s runners-up were Down High School, Downpatrick for a project called ‘Utilising Science to Capture Carbon’.

The outstanding individual achievement award went to Orlagh Donaghy, a member of the St. Louis Grammar School, Ballymena team whose research topic was ‘Succession Planning for a Successful Future’.

George Mullan today congratulated all the students who had participated in the competition.

He said, “As a leading employer and business partner within Northern Ireland’s farming and food sector, ABP is committed to supporting ambitious young people make the transition from education to working in our sector.

“The ABP Angus Youth Challenge provides practical experience to support this study and career choice within schools. By completing the challenge, the class of 2022 have gained many strengths and relevant work-life skills which should stand them in good stead for their future studies and beyond school. ”

An awards ceremony took place today in the Logan Hall at Balmoral Park in Northern Ireland which was supported by teachers, parents and industry guests.

Also present were 31 new Year 11 teams, who are currently taking part in the 2023 ABP Angus Youth Challenge Exhibition – and who all hope to become the next group of finalists.

Four successful teams will be selected by a panel of judges to embark on a year-long journey of rearing their own Angus cattle through to beef and take part in a study tour with ABP and Certified Irish Angus.

ABP is one of Northern Ireland’s leading agri-food companies with operations in Newry and Lurgan, as well as ABP Linden Foods in Dungannon and Kettyle Irish Foods in Lisnaskea.

The ABP Angus Youth Challenge is an award-winning skills development initiative for teenagers which was established in 2018.

It is part of ABP’s commitment to promoting agricultural education and sustainability by fostering partnerships between academia and the agricultural community.