WATCH: ‘Farming for Nature’ – public vote launched


Members of the public, and in particular, the farming community, are being asked to vote for one of six shortlisted farmers as their top pick for the 2018 National ‘Farming for Nature’ Award.

The prestigious award - which has received the support of leading industry partners - is part of a wider independent initiative which hopes to source; share and celebrate the stories of those farmers across Ireland who are doing great things for nature on their land and in their community.

From an initial longlist of farmers – nominated by over 150 environmental professionals – a shortlist of six farmers has been compiled.

A 5-minute film has been made about each shortlisted farmer and now the public are being asked to view the films and vote for their favourite one, with the winner to be announced at a special event on Saturday, October 27th.

Passion and Knowledge

One of the Award organisers - Brendan Dunford, said that ‘these are six really inspiring people, speaking with unsurpassed passion and knowledge about their farm."

"It’s powerful to witness these farmers tell their unique story, and act as such eloquent spokespeople for nature."

Project co-ordinator Brigid Barry explained the voting system: ‘We – our panel of 10 judges and I – have managed to narrow down this year’s nominees to a shortlist of six finalists - a really tough job as the standard was simply outstanding."

"The judges have assessed all six finalists in detail and rated each one according to a list of agreed criteria."

She said that this will account for 40% of the final vote but the public to decide on the other 60% - the majority of the vote - and they can do so by simply visiting here www.farmingfornature.ie and selecting their favourite entry.

She invited people to share their stories or pictures of farming for nature – perhaps a memory from when you were young and out exploring the farm; or a story of a memorable wildlife encounter you may have had when out on the farm.

The content will be shared across Farming for Nature's various social media platforms.

Diversity of Farmers

Burren farmer Michael Davoren - one of the judges, welcomed the diversity of farmers on the shortlist and she he is amazed at the range of farms – from Kildare to Achill, Roscommon to Cork – and the different systems represented - from intensive dairy to extensive beef and sheep, from small upland farms to large tillage farms.

"I think every farmer in Ireland will be able to relate to at least one of these farmers and admire what they have managed to do on their farms, producing great stock while looking after nature and in some cases making an extra few euro from it."

"These stories are real eye-openers and I’d recommend anyone to look at them!" He concluded.

Image source: Farming for Nature.

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