That’s Farming speaks to Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools’ finalists who have created a calendar to raise funds for Cian’s Kennels.
A group of fifth-year students have created a calendar in memory of their late classmate.
Westmeath natives, Kate Mulvey and Rachel Maguire and Aileen Briody and Ciara Gavigan, from Longford, attend Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon, Co. Longford.
The fifth-year students are participating in the Certified Irish Angus Beef Schools’ Competition since they have been in transition year.
The girls are raising funds for Cian’s Kennels, a charitable organisation set up in memory of Cian Neary, a classmate and dear friend who sadly passed away in September 2019 following a cancer battle.
Cian’s parents, the charity’s founders, hope to bring pets closer to sick children and their families. The students wanted to link their involvement in the competition with this worthy cause.
Coming up with the concept
Limited by Covid-19 restrictions, the students had to consider alternative ways to promote the breed and engage with local farmers.
The students decided to design a calendar to help promote local farmers rearing Irish Angus cattle to produce Certified Angus beef. They created and sold their Angus-themed calendar before the festival season.
Speaking to That’s Farming, Kate Mulvey, one of the team members, said: “We reached out to local Irish Angus farmers to see if they were interested in featuring in our calendar and were overjoyed with the response we received.”
The theme of their project is: improving the sustainability of your farm by breeding Certified Irish Angus.
“We are now in the final stage of the competition and have received five Irish Angus calves and must rear them until November 2021. The five calves are being reared on Rachel Maguire’s farm in Emper, Co. Westmeath.”
“We are very pleased with their progress so far, and we intend to keep pushing them to their full potential.”
“Also, we all wanted to develop our characteristics and skills and thought this competition would be a great way of fulfilling that goal while also pursuing our passion for agriculture.”
Promoting the benefits of Irish Angus
The fifth-year students plan on researching the efficiency that the Irish Angus breed brings to sustainable beef and dairy farming.
“Angus cattle are a lighter breed of cattle and reach their slaughter weight at a younger age compared to other continental breeds. Therefore, we believe this breed can help reduce the carbon footprint of beef cattle as they need to spend less time on the farm to reach full mature weight.”
Their main aim is to promote the benefits of the Irish Angus breed to farmers as well as the benefits of certified Irish Angus beef to consumers.
Kate, Rachel, Aileen, and Ciara have also delivered talks to fellow students on their sustainable farming project and the benefits of the competition.
“We would like to express a huge thank you to everyone who purchased our calendars and has helped us along our journey in the competition so far. These include our principal, Ms Josephine Donohue, vice-principal, Mr Gary Kenny, and agricultural science teacher and mentor, Ms Avril Murphy,” Kate concluded.
To find out more about Cian’s Kennels, click here.
Interview conducted by Catherina Cunnane.
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