The application process for the next instalment of the Certified Irish Angus schools competition has closed with organisers reporting a huge response from secondary schools this year.
The number of students applying to take part almost doubled, up from 250 in 2019 to 460 in 2020.
General manager of Certified Irish Angus Charles Smith said: “The 2020 numbers are by far the biggest increase we have ever seen.
“There is not only a significant rise in applications, but also widespread interest from rural and urban secondary schools nationwide. The standard of applications continues to improve each year with students presenting fantastic skills.”
The competition is an initiative from certified Irish Angus and its processing partner ABP and Kepak.
Each year, applicants are judged by industry experts who are chosen to rear five Angus calves for 18 months while carrying out a research project on a related theme of their choice.
A shortlist of schools will be identified from this year’s applicants, who will then be invited for interview in early 2021. Five schools will eventually be chosen to receive calves in September 2021.
The 2020 finalists missed out on the opportunity to attend the National Ploughing Championships where they would traditionally be presented with their Angus calves.
Instead, in September 2020, Certified Irish Angus delivered them directly to each of the schools to allow them to start their competition journey.
These schools include; Boherbue Comprehensive School, Cork; Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon; Gorey Community School, Wexford; Carrick-On-Shannon Community School, Leitrim and The Abbey School, Tipperary town.