HAMPERS packed full of Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured (NIFQA) beef and lamb have been delivered to the winners of this year’s Meat4Schools competition.
Organised by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), and kindly sponsored by ABP, the annual Meat4Schools competition aims to improve the availability of beef and lamb for pupils studying food related subjects at post-primary level.
The Commission is delighted to announce the three schools that have been selected as the deserved winners of this year’s competition are, Clounagh Junior High School, Portadown, Newtownhamilton High School, Newtownhamilton and Dalriada School, Ballymoney.
“On behalf of LMC, I wish to congratulate the winning schools,” said LMC education and consumer promotions manager, Sarah Toland. “The calibre of entries received from schools across Northern Ireland this year was extremely high. The geographical spread of winners reinforces the reach and appeal of this educational competition.”
The 2023 entry topics encouraged pupils to share their knowledge of red meat in a creative and interactive way through the submission of a short video clip. It was then over to the LMC judging panel to review entries and select one winner from each Key Stage, namely, Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.
Sarah continued, “This competition very much complements the learning outcomes for pupils studying CCEA Nutrition and Food Science courses. We are appreciative of ABP’s continued support for the competition and for their kind sponsorship of the beef and lamb hampers.”
George Mullan, managing director of ABP in Northern Ireland said, “ABP is delighted to once again partner with LMC. Engaging with young people about the nutritional values of red meat in a balanced diet and how locally sourced beef and lamb is produced is important to us and our farmer suppliers. Meat4Schools complements our ABP Angus Youth Challenge programme, a competition for 14-15 year olds which provides hands-on experience of rearing beef sustainably from farm to fork.”
Commenting on the Meat4Schools competition, Amy Fry, teacher at Dalriada School, this year’s winner of Key Stage 5 hamper, said, “The Meat4schools competition has been a fantastic way to engage students within the curriculum and it allowed them to do something fun whilst building their knowledge.
“Students have been learning about the vital role of the Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assurance Scheme in regard to quality assurance and the important impact this has on food safety. The competition has also allowed us to now bring a practical element into a theory based subject at A Level.”
Carol Alexander, teacher at Newtownhamilton High School, winner of the Key Stage 4 hamper added, “The LMC’s Meat4Schools competition provides pupils with an array of learning opportunities centred around the benefits of Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured beef and lamb. This year’s competition enabled pupils at Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 to enter with topics that were relevant to teaching and learning within the classroom environment.”
Carol added that the Year 11 Food and Nutrition class were eager to enter the competition. She said, “They had to ‘explain the nutritional importance of red meat as part of a balanced diet through different life stages.’ The pupils not only gained further nutritional knowledge from their research into their chosen stage of the life cycle, but more than this they developed teamwork skills, problem solving skills, IT skills and the whole experience has boosted their confidence and self-esteem. Thank you to LMC for this wonderful opportunity.”
Sarah Black, teacher at Clounagh Junior High School, winner of the Key Stage 3 hamper, said that the Meat4Schools competition aligned well with the Year 9 pupils work on food safety. “Pupils were able to use their knowledge to produce the entry,” Sarah confirmed, adding, “They really enjoyed working on the video and we feel the process has helped them develop a greater understanding of how to prepare and cook NIFQA beef and lamb safely.”
Concluding LMC’s Sarah Toland said, “We are delighted that teachers and pupils feel this educational competition has supported learning outcomes. LMC has been working closely with schools for almost 25 years and hopes to continue on this path for many years to come.”