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Teagasc FBD Environmental Sustainability Awards 2024

The Teagasc FBD Environmental Sustainability Awards aims to promote environmentally sustainable farming. The awards highlight the progress farmers are making to lighten the load of farming on the environment, while continuing to produce high quality, nutritious food, in a profitable manner. 

The Awards will recognise farmers who are operating sustainable, profitable farming systems, whilst incorporating the latest scientific developments and technologies on their farms. These actions are reducing their gaseous emissions (greenhouse gases and ammonia), improving water quality, enhancing biodiversity, and improving soil health and carbon

Background | Award categories and prize fundAwards criteriaWho can applyHow to apply | After you applyTerms and Conditions

 

Applications for the 2024 Awards are now closed.

Background

Irish farmers produce high quality, nutritious and healthy food to feed a growing global population. Producing this food in an environmentally sustainable fashion is perhaps the biggest challenge facing Irish farmers currently. There is much coverage of the environmental challenges faced by Irish farmers, we hear less about those farmers who are doing a great job farming in an environmentally friendly manner. There is little time given to the positive stories of farmers taking steps on their farms to reduce their farm’s environmental footprint, while continuing to produce high quality, nutritious food. Encouraging farmers to feel that they can play their part in meeting the environmental challenges is an important step on the journey to a more sustainable future. We hope that these awards can help farmers, consumers and Irish citizens to be proud of the great work undertaken by Irish farmers.

The Awards, generously sponsored by FBD Insurance come at a time of concern around environmental sustainability. The Irish government has set ambitious targets for all sectors of the economy to reduce their gaseous emissions. The target for the agricultural sector is to reduce gaseous emissions by 25% by 2030.

Teagasc recognises the challenge faced by the farming community and in response has initiated a number of advisory and training initiatives to support farmers. FBD Insurance recognises the challenge through their generous sponsorship of these awards.

The awards aim to recognise and celebrate the actions that individual farmers are taking to improve the overall environmental sustainability of their farming business. This includes reducing gaseous emissions, improving water quality, enhancing biodiversity and improving soil health and carbon, while continuing to farm productively and profitably. The awards will also promote the use of data for improved decision making by farmers.

Award categories and prize fund

The Awards have an overall prize fund of €30,000. In addition to an Overall Award winner, prizes will be awarded in up to nine further categories. 

Award categories

Overall award:

This award will be presented to the farmer who is judged to be farming in the most environmentally sustainable manner. They will be actively engaging in practices to reduce gaseous emissions, improve water quality, enhance biodiversity, and improve soil health and carbon. They will also be demonstrating high levels of efficiency and overall productivity.

Category Awards

There will be up to nine category Awards. Prizes will be awarded for five enterprise categories and four “best of” categories, as follows:

Enterprise Award winners will be judged to be farming in the most environmentally sustainable manner in their farming enterprise. There will awards in the following enterprises:

  • Dairy
  • Beef - breeding/suckler
  • Beef - non-breeding/finishing
  • Sheep
  • Tillage

'Best of' Award winners will be judged to be farming in an environmentally friendly manner overall, but have made an outstanding contribution to the environment in one of four areas:

  • Reducing gaseous emissions
  • Improving water quality
  • Enhancing biodiversity
  • Improving soil health and carbon.

Prize Fund 

Overall Award: The winner will be chosen from one of the category winners; in total the Overall Award winner will receive a prize of €10,000 - €2,500 as a category winner and an additional €7,500 as the overall winner.

Enterprise Awards: Each enterprise award winner: will receive €2,500

Best of Awards: Each winner in the 'Best of' category will receive €2,500

The Awards are funded by FBD Insurance. Their sponsorship covers the cost of the Awards Ceremony, the awards themselves, the cost of making short films, promotional activities and other costs associated with the delivery of the initiative.

The Awards are organised by Teagasc with the support of Bord Bia and ICBF

Awards criteria

The following is a list of the criteria which will be used to assess applicants for a Teagasc FBD Environmental Sustainability Award.

  1. Actions taken to reduce gaseous emissions
  2. Actions taken to improve water quality
  3. Actions taken to enhance biodiversity
  4. Actions taken to improve soil health and carbon
  5. Overall farm productivity
  6. Participation in sustainability programme

More detailed information on the awards criteria is available here

Who can apply

The Awards are open to all farmers from all the main farming enterprises - dairy, beef (separate breeding and non-breeding categories), sheep and tillage - operating in the Republic of Ireland, and who meet the criteria listed under the Terms and Conditions. The Awards are open to both conventional and organic farmers.

Applicants must be:

  • farming a minimum of one hectare and producing agricultural products for sale.
  • actively engaging in practices to increase the environmental sustainability of their farming business 
  • able to visibly demonstrate the impact of such actions on key environmental sustainability indicators

How to apply - Applications for the 2024 Awards are now closed

Farmers who wish to participate in these awards must complete the on-line application form which is available here. The following information is required:

  • Your contact details
  • Details regarding your main farming enterprise
  • Details of actions you have taken to farm in a more environmentally sustainable manner 
  • Your consent to allow Teagasc access data relating to your farm from relevant Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Bord Bia, ICBF and AgNav databases relating to your farm

What will happen after I apply?

Preliminary shortlisting will be based on the information submitted on your on-line application form, combined with data extracted from:

  • Teagasc
  • ICBF
  • BordBia
  • Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine systems
  • AgNav
  • other data sources.

Based on an initial assessment of all applications, up to 12 finalists will be identified and selected for judging. Further information may be required to support your initial application or in advance of the final judging.

Timeline

Application period - 9/1/2024 to 29/2/2024
Preliminary shortlisting - March 2024
Finalists notified and announced - 1/4/2024
Video production on the farms of the finalists - April 2024 onwards
Judging period - May to mid-July 2024
Awards ceremony - 1/10/2024
Farm walks on winning farms -2025

Final judging will involve a panel of judges visiting your farm. The judging panel will consist of representatives from Teagasc, FBD, Bord Bia and other.

Download the awards brochure Teagasc FBD Environmental Sustainability Awards (pdf)