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Winners of the 2024 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award announced


Teagasc is delighted to announce that the winners of the 2024 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award are Derek and Yvonne McCabe.

The McCabes were presented with their award in Dublin on Thursday, May 2, by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett and Professor Frank O’Mara, Director of Teagasc.

Receiving the Special Commendation Award in the 2024 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Category were Westmeath farmers James and Martina Ham.

Farming in Mountnugent, Co. Cavan, Derek McCabe is a beef farmer and forest owner. On the farming side, he is on the road to getting into organics with a mix of pedigree Angus and continentals. Derek also breeds Irish Draught Horses. He owns 70ha of forest, which he manages himself.

Winner of this year’s RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award, Derek McCabe, County Cavan receiving his award from Professor Frank O’Mara, Director of Teagasc, and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett. Also pictured President of the RDS John Dardis.

Winner of this year’s RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award, Derek McCabe receiving his award from Professor Frank O’Mara, Director of Teagasc, and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett. Also pictured President of the RDS John Dardis.

In addition to his farming and forest enterprises, in recent years Derek has used his forestry experiences and entrepreneurial skills to add value by developing a firewood and fencing business. As well as his interest in his own woodland, Derek looks forward and outwards and is deeply involved in the Northeast Growers Association. He also believes strongly in getting forestry and knowledge of woodlands into schools.

He believes that forestry has made his farm holding sustainable and that each new generation in the family should be able to benefit from maturing crops into the future.

On receiving the 2024 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award, Derek McCabe said: “I am delighted to win this award. We've worked hard to develop our forest into something that will bring many kinds of rewards into the future and it's great now to get the independent validation.”

Congratulating Derek and Yvonne McCabe, Teagasc Director, Professor Frank O’Mara highlighted how “the award acknowledges Derek and Yvonne’s role in futureproofing their family farm through the sustainable integration of his forestry and farming enterprises”.

Professor O’Mara added: “Derek is also an excellent example of a farmer demonstrating innovation and entrepreneurship in downstream forest business development. Teagasc is delighted to be associated with the RDS Forestry Awards through our sponsorship of the Farm Forestry Award Category.”

Kevin O’Connell, Teagasc Forestry Advisor, said: “Derek and Yvonne’s award is well deserved and his successful diversification into forestry highlights how farms and forests can work so well together with strong economic, practical, social and environmental benefits. Their success is a great example for others to aspire to.”

James and Martina Ham from County Westmeath received the runners up award in the 2024 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award.

James and Martina Ham from County Westmeath received the runners up award in the 2024 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award.

Runner-up of this year’s RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award, James and Martina Ham receiving their award from Professor Frank O’Mara, Director of Teagasc, and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett. Also pictured President of the RDS John Dardis.

The 2025 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award will open soon for entries. For more updates and information on this and all aspects of forest creation, management and training, visit the Teagasc Forestry Development webpage.