This year’s FBD Young Farmer of the year competition comes to a conclusion next week, with the winner set to be announced on Tuesday.
In total, thirty-two farmers will fight it out to take home the crown. The award ceremony will take place in the Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The awards is one of the most prestigious in the country, with young farmers from all sectors taking part. This year sees candidates from the beef, dairy, sheep, horticulture, poultry, pigs and tillage sector.
Macra na Feirme National President James Healy said, ‘The Young Farmer of the Year competition has gone from strength to strength since the inaugural competition in 1999 thanks in no small part to sponsors FBD and our partners, the IFA. The competition is a fantastic showcase of the enormous talent and potential that exists within the Irish agriculture sector.” said James Healy, Macra President.
This year’s winner, will receive a travel bursary and the opportunity to experience farm practices abroad while developing their skills. There will also be a new ‘Future Farmer’ award this year for an emerging young farmer under the age of 23. As in previous years, county winners will also receive an award.
See below the list of finalists for this year’s awards:
- Adrian Claffey: a 21-year-old farmer from Moate Co. Westmeath. Adrian is a former Gurteen College graduate, who has been farming at home and also spent time farming in New Zealand.
- David Harney: The 24-year-old Galway man, farms near Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. Here he farms with his father and brother a mixed sheep and suckler farm.
- Colm Stenson: The 33-year-old Leitrim man, who is married with one child, is a part-time farmer, with suckler and pedigree Simmentals.
- Martin Cole: Carlow native Martin, 29, has been farming since he was younger. He and his family have over 300 ewes, in Tullow Co. Carlow.
- Jonathan Dwyer: 24-year-old Jonathan has been involved in dairy all of his life. He is well educated and is in the process of completing a Green Cert in Gurteen Ag College. The Laois man has been full-time farming for over a year and a half.
- John Flood: Kilkenny native, John, has completed a level 6 degree in agriculture at Kildalton. The 26-year-old places a strong emphasis on grass utilisation and management on his dairy farm.
- Neily O’Sullivan: Aged 27, Neily hails from Co. Kerry, where they have a dairy farm. Over the last few years major improvements have been made on the farm, and Neily works as an advisor with the ICBF.
- John Cremin: Limerick man and dairy farmer, John Cremin, farms over 81 acres, with 100 cows due to calf next spring and 50 other young animals. John completed a green cert through Pallaskenry, which will conclude in 2019.
- PJ O’Keeffe: 31-year-old PJ, has been involved in the dairy industry for over a decade. He switched the farms full focus to dairy back in 2015, having previously held some beef stock.