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Sustainable Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition

Enter the 2024 competition

The Sustainable Grassland Farmer of the Year competition aims to promote grassland excellence for all Irish livestock farmers.

Meet the 2023 winners

The Grass10 campaign aims to increase the quantity of grass utilised on livestock farms (dairy, beef and sheep), with the objective of achieving 10 tons grass DM/ha/year utilised, with 10 grazings/paddock/year. The Grass10 campaign is supported by Teagasc, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, AIB, FBD Insurance, Grassland Agro and the Farmers Journal.

Despite the established benefits of grass-based milk and meat production, Irish livestock farmers are currently not optimising grass production and utilisation. Teagasc research indicates that grass utilisation can be increased significantly on farm. As part of the Grass10
campaign, the Sustainable Grassland Farmer of the Year competition will recognise those farmers who are achieving high levels of grass utilisation in a sustainable manner.

Irish agriculture faces serious challenges in trying to meet Greenhouse Gas and Ammonia emissions targets. Improved nutrient management and the use of clover are now more important than ever. Managing grassland with less Nitrogen fertiliser inputs and with
greater reliance on biological Nitrogen from clover and the soil can reduce cost of production and reduce GHG emissions. The sustainability of our livestock production must improve. Pasture performance is also critical to the success of organic farming.

Categories

For 2024 the competition has a number of categories with an overall prize fund of €35,000 

Awards: Seven prizes will be awarded

Enterprise category awards:

  • Dairy
  • Drystock

Other category awards:

  • Nutrient Management and Use Efficiency
  • Clover
  • Organic Farming
  • Young Farmer (under 30 years)*

*The young farmer category can include entrants that are farm managers or farming in a collaborative arrangement.

Each category winner will receive €5,000. The overall winner will be selected from the category winners and will receive an additional €5,000.

Closing date for entries is Friday, 6th September 2024.

Fill in the below form to enter the competition

Competition Focus

Applicants should have established the level of grass production on their farm. Applicants will be prejudged on previous pasture production and nutrient management data. This includes;

  • Total grass production (tons/ha)
  • Number of grazings achieved
  • Average pre-grazing yield
  • Level of clover content
  • Level of Nitrogen (N) usage (organic and inorganic)
  • Soil fertility data
  • Level of reseeding

A knowledge of farm soil fertility is essential. The sustainability of the pasture-based system of production will be assessed. The necessary grazing infrastructure on each farm will also be a focus for this competition.

Terms and Conditions of the Sustainable Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition 2024

  • The competition is open to all livestock farmers in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Preliminary judging will be based on the information submitted on the application form and information from Teagasc, Bord Bia & Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine systems.
  • Final judging will involve a panel of judges visiting farms.
  • In the event of winning, the winning farmers are obliged to allow reasonable media coverage, to participate in the awards ceremony, host an Open Day on their farm to demonstrate the high levels of grass production and utilisation achieved in a sustainable manner, and participate in relevant promotional activity.
    • The winners of the competition from previous years may not enter the competition in 2024.