ABP Angus Youth Challenge pupils took part in NI Beef Week for the chance to be featured on Downtown Country’s live broadcast from the Balmoral Show with Victoria Quinn.

The winners of the ‘Best NI Beef Week Action’ challenge were Jack Steenson and Alexander Smith from Aughnacloy College.

The duo impressed the judges, LMC, ABP and Certified Irish Angus with their “entertaining” cookery videos.

The pupils are currently competing against three other school teams in the final of the 2024 ABP Angus Youth Challenge.

The challenge entails rearing their own mini herd of Angus cross calves, the students will then be able to sell these to ABP at the end of the competition and pocket the proceeds for themselves.

All teams also have to work on a year-long project with the support of a College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) mentor.

The overall winners will receive a cheque for £1,000 for their school in autumn 2024.

LMC chief executive, Colin Smith said:

“The teenagers gave an impressive report on their activity throughout NI Beef Week demonstrating a successful social campaign with an overall page following an increase of 82%.

“The judges also recognised the level of time and effort put into creating the various short videos which were relevant and supportive of the aim of raising awareness of Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured (NIFQA) beef.” 

The Aughnacloy College students’ topic is “creating a vibrant farming culture for future generations”. They have also been working on a children’s educational book about sustainable farming.

ABP Angus Youth Challenge finalists Alexander Smith and Jack Steenson of Aughnacloy College with Victoria Quinn of Downtown Country

The book will feature illustrations by local school children and the students intend to sell the book at the Armagh Show to raise funds for Air Ambulance NI.

ABP, Rose McParland said that there is a fantastic group of finalists from Aughnacloy College, Dromore High School, the Royal School Armagh and St. Colmcille’s High School in Crossgar.

The ABP Angus Youth Challenge will open again for entries from 14-15-year-olds in year 11 at the beginning of the new school year this September.

For further information, visit the ABP Angus Youth Challenge website.