“Calf love” continues during Coronavirus pandemic: Angus Youth Challenge update

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Regular readers of the school social media will be aware of the highly demanding but immensely rewarding Angus Youth Challenge. Year 12 students Samantha and Emma have found not only their GCSE schedule disrupted but also their Women in Agriculture Project and their promotion of awareness of the “ farm to fork” journey amongst fellow pupils.

The girls had planned a full programme of events during British Beef Week ( 23rd-30th April) which included: a cookery demonstration by the LMC ( Livestock and Meat Commission) , cooking and presenting beef burgers with the Preparatory Department and providing British Beef in the school canteen.

The calves are currently enjoying life on the farm and thanks to the benefits of modern technology Emma and Samantha can keep a close idea on their development. The House competition results saw Alfonso top the weight chart ( Seymour/ Hamilton) followed by the crowd pleaser Oreo ( Gracey/ Conway) and then Jet, Milo and Willow.

Whilst plans in school have sadly been disrupted the girls have completed other elements of their project. Their theme for the competition is “ Women in Agriculture” in recognition of the increasingly visible role of women in the farming industry in Northern Ireland. As fans of “ There’s No Place Like Tyrone” on BBC and “Rare Breed” on UTV will know, there are some remarkably knowledgeable female breeders and farmers. The girls interviewed a series of young women who work in the agri-food industry about their experiences: they focused on their backgrounds, their studies, their perspectives on how their gender impacts their working lives and whether or not maternal instincts improve animal welfare.

Interestingly, each of the interviewees had grown up on a farm and had plenty of female company whilst studying agriculture at Loughry, Greenmount or Queen’s University, Belfast but have found themselves in the minority in their work environments. These young women represent genuine role models for school age students as one of their interviewees Eimear McGovern was the first female (and youngest) manager at Fane Valley whilst another, Zita McNaugher, is President of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster.

Full details of all the interviews can be found on Emma and Samantha’s Instagram page @whsangusyc

Congratulations to the girls for their dedication to the APB Angus Youth Challenge during this challenging time. As for Alfonso, Oreo, Jet, Milo and Willow… recent photographs show they are blissfully unaware of the pandemic and just enjoying the good weather.

Last modified: May 1, 2020