The 20th FBD Young Farmer of the Year will be crowned on September 11 at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin. Organised by Macra na Feirme and supported by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), there are six additional awards on offer alongside the main prize in this landmark year for the event. Young farmers involved in sectors such as beef, dairy, sheep and other enterprises (including horticulture, pigs, poultry, tillage) are invited to enter and the winner of each sector will compete to be crowned the 2018 FBD Young Farmer of the Year.
This year there are also new feature awards for the Best Emerging Female Farmer, Best Emerging Male Farmer along with awards in land mobility and farm collaboration. The Land Mobility Award will focus on farmers who display innovative solutions to accessing and utilising land for farming. The Farm Collaboration Award will focus on collaborative farming arrangements that best demonstrate the benefits of collaborations such as long-term leases, registered partnerships, share farming, share milking and contract rearing for all parties involved. There is also a new biodiversity award this year supported by the National Rural Network.
Macra na Feirme national president, James Healy said, “This is the 20th year of the FBD Young Farmer of the year competition. The longevity and growth in importance of this competition is thanks to the great support of our sponsor FBD, our partner the IFA and the calibre of entrants who make this competition such a prestigious event. This is a great competition and it gives young farmers from all backgrounds an opportunity to showcase the skills and knowledge they have acquired during their career to date. Last year’s winner PJ O’Keeffe has been a brilliant ambassador for the competition and I look forward to greeting his successor next week."
Fiona Muldoon, chief executive, FBD Insurance plc said: “FBD Insurance plc is pleased to again sponsor the 2018 FBD Young Farmer of the year awards and is proud to be associated with Macra na Feirme. As Ireland’s only truly Irish farm insurer, we are committed to supporting each generation of Irish farmers through research grants, education sponsorships, farm safety campaigns and prestigious competitions such as this one that strive for excellence in modern farming. I expect we will have another keenly contested competition this year and a winner who represents all that is best about modern Irish farming."
IFA president, Joe Healy said: “We have an abundance of talented young farmers in this country, in every sector. Macra has a long tradition of identifying and developing future leaders in the farming community, including through this competition."
Commenting on the award, Philip Farrelly from the National Rural Network said: “The National Rural Network Biodiversity Report is about showcasing farmers who are using and finding innovative approaches that make farming more sustainable such as using the carbon navigator tool and promoting behaviour on their farms that will increase biodiversity such as maintaining flowering hedgerows. In the years ahead, sustainability will be part of almost every management decision made on farms.” The winner of the 2018 FBD Young Farmer of the Year will receive a travel bursary and the opportunity to experience farm practices abroad, while also developing their skills. As in previous years, all county winners will also receive an award. The winners of each sector will be announced on Tuesday afternoon on the day, and will progress to the final awards taking place that evening from 8pm.