Our Dublin schools have hosted Le Chéile ducks, chickens and a show-jumping team but now we can add some real farmers and calves to the list and prove farming is not the just the preserve of our fellow Le Chéile students in the country. Four students from Our Lady’s School, Terenure were announced as the national winners of the Certified Irish Angus Beef schools competition which saw them rear five Irish Angus Cross calves for 18 months. Students Eithne Murray, Tara Frehill, Emily Browne, and Shauna Jager are not only part of the first Agricultural Science Leaving Certificate class in Our Lady’s School, Terenure, they also defied the odds and won the Certified Irish Angus Beef schools competition with no farming experience and living and studying in an urban setting.
Each year, five school groups are chosen to receive five Irish Angus Cross calves and as part of their winning project, they reared their calves on a farm in Manor Kilbride, Tallaght from September 2015 through to their slaughter in November 2016.
The students also organised a competition in the school to decide on the names of the calves. One of the highlights of the project was having the calves brought to the school grounds ,with Miriam O Callaghan and the local priest from Blessington for the “Naming Ceremony ” last year.
They also conducted research and set about increasing market awareness of the benefits of Certified Irish Angus Beef, which they succeeded in doing among their fellow students, teachers, parents, as well as targeted groups at Scifest in Tallaght IT and Bushey Park farmers market.
The competition is run by the Irish Angus Producer Group, along with its processor partners, ABP Ireland and Kepak Group, and aims to encourage second level students to gain an understanding about the care and attention that is required to produce and market the highest quality beef for consumers. Each year, five school groups are chosen to receive five Irish Angus Cross calves.