Aspiring young farmers in Northern Ireland between the ages of 12 and 16 are being invited to enter ABP Food Group’s Farmers of the Future competition at this year’s Balmoral Show.

The programme encourages young people into beef farming and educates them on best rearing practices to promote farming as a long term career option.

The winners will receive six calves aged 14 weeks old to rear through to slaughter, in addition to the highest level of professional support and knowledge from ABP and industry experts. The value of the prize is in the region of £6,000.

Budding farmers, interested in entering Farmer of the Future, should submit a 200 word proposal on why they deserve to win the calves and the support from ABP.

Entries should be submitted through the Farmers of the Future website. ABP has said that a short list of entrants will be chosen and the winners will be announced in July.

The winners of the 2015 competition were were Owen McGreevey of Dromore, Co. Down and Caleb Haffrey of Donaghcloney, Co. Armagh.

Arthur Callaghan from ABP Food Group said that this programme is about giving young farmers the opportunity to get first-hand experience on developing a quality beef production system.

“Our team, along with a number of industry experts, will support the winners through the whole process through an on-farm mentoring programme where the latest research and advice will be shared.

“I’d urge any young farmer who is interested in beef to log on to our website to find out more.”

ABP is platinum sponsor of this year’s Balmoral show. The company has two facilities in Northern Ireland at Lurgan and Newry and employs 491 people locally.