During the summer, our Youth Development Programme workshops made their way to Mohill, County Leitrim, Republic of Ireland and Leah Mullen, aged 18, was one of the any youngsters in attendance. Leah has given us a great account of the workshop – read her thoughts below:
”I attended the workshop on the 27th of July in Mohill, Co. Leitrim, which was my fourth time attending the Aberdeen-Angus Youth Development Programme workshops. That morning we opened with a little bonding exercise where we all had to line up according to our age and get to know the person next to us before telling everyone a bit about that person. We were then split into groups of 4 or 5 before beginning the activities. My first station was clipping with Patrick Beirne, who allowed us to clip a section of an animal each explaining how to improve or how he would do things differently. Overall, as a group we clipped a head, belly, tail and brisket of a heifer calf.
”Our next station was washing with Justin Reynolds, who showed us how to wash cattle using a bucket of water and shampoo. Marie Louise Ryan then went on to show us how to tie a quick release knot and how to correctly change a halter.
”Our group then went on to our next station which was with Mike Kirby who showed us how to dress Aberdeen-Angus cattle for showing. Mike showed us how to do up both red and black Aberdeen-Angus cattle with foam and soap. Mike explained when we should use foam and then when we should use soap and its just down to the animal itself.
”Our last station was with Marie Louise Ryan for stock judging. We had to judge 3 bull calves and a heifer calf and give our reasons. Marie Louise then told us the order she had placed them in and why, so we got an idea for what exactly she was looking for and the things we should consider when stock judging.
”As a full group we then moved on to ring craft which Patrick Beirne took, explaining the basics of ringcraft before letting us have a go at it ourselves. We then had a bit of lunch where everyone got to try Aberdeen-Angus burgers and we had a chance to mingle with everyone else there.
”I had a wonderful time at this workshop and even after this being my fourth workshop, I am still taking away new tips and tricks from the trainers. I would recommend the YDP to everyone as it allows people to gain experience working with the breed but also gives you valuable life skills such as teamwork, confidence and improves your communication with other people. I would like to say a very big thank you to the trainers and Gayle, as this wouldn’t have happened without you and especially Kathryn and Mac for facilitating the workshop and being so welcoming.’’