Five students from Cork have been announced as the 2021 Certified Irish Angus School’s competition winners on Wednesday, during an online event.

Students Emily O’Donovan, Kelsey Hourigan, Helen Savage, Leah Buckley and Rachel O’Gorman from St Aloysius College, Carrigtwohill, picked up the overall winners award for their entry.

RTÉ 2FM’s Carl Mullan made the announcement after a panel of agricultural experts judged the five shortlisted teams’ 18-month projects.

The award-winning Certified Irish Angus beef brand runs the competition yearly with processing partners ABP and Kepak, giving chosen teams the opportunity to rear five Angus-cross calves.

The initiative allows the second-level students to compile a project on a beef production research topic whilst rearing the calves.

Overall winners

The St Aloysius College students non-farming backgrounds did not disadvantage their efforts in the competition, as they were “immersed in every aspect of beef production”.

The team’s project involved an ‘Angus Adventures’ app which enables users to virtually experience all aspects calf rearing. It is hoped the app will educate consumers on the daily tasks of a beef farmer and educate urban users of beef's farm-to-fork journey.

“They enthusiastically involved themselves in everything from genetic research to attending on-farm events,” Certified Irish Angus general manager Charles Smith.

Runner up

Josh Lovely, Iarla Nolan and Jordan Greiner from Castleknock College, Co Dublin, took the runner-up award.

The Castleknock team focused on the role of beef in a balanced diet for their 18-month project.

“Their depth of their knowledge was exceptional throughout the competition,” noted the judges.

Team member Iarla Nolan was also chosen by the judges for the outstanding achievement award.

The panel commented on Iarla’s “passion and understanding of agriculture” and “desire for knowledge” being the reasons for his success in the award.