2021 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Awards
The RDS Forest and Woodland Awards are Ireland’s national forestry awards. They recognise and reward farmers and woodland owners who are employing the principles of climate-smart agriculture on their properties including sound commercial management, environmental protection and encouragement of biodiversity.
Teagasc Farm Forestry Award Category
The Teagasc Farm Forestry Award recognises working farmers who are integrating forestry and farming for environmental, social and economic benefits.
This category aims to promote the positive sustainable contribution of forestry as an integral enterprise within the wider farming profile. It acknowledges the farmer’s role in actively integrating and managing the forest and promoting tree planting to strengthen wider farming sustainability.
Winner of the 2021 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award
The winner of the 2021 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award is Cavan farmer Owen Cooney. Owen was presented with his award in Dublin on Monday 29 November 2021 by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett and RDS President Professor Owen Lewis.
Owen Cooney farms 35 hectares in County Cavan where, in recent years, he moved from dairying into contract rearing of dairy calves. He has been planting and managing trees and successfully integrating forestry into suitable areas of his farm over many years. With a mixture of both conifers and broadleaves, close to 30% of Owen’s farm is now under forestry. Combining his roles as farmer and forest owner has enabled Owen to develop an efficient management system that meets his objectives for his farm while also providing income, biodiversity, shelter and landscape benefits.
Accepting the award Owen Cooney said: "I'm absolutely delighted to win the Teagasc farm forestry award. I’ve always had a love for forestry and planting has helped me explore and develop other farming opportunities."
Special Commendation Award
Recipient of the Special Commendation Award in the 2021 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Category is Westmeath farmer James Ham.