28 July 2021
Winner of the Teagasc / FBD Student of the Year Award Announced
The 2020 national winner of the Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year award is Deirdre McMahon, Leagh North, Kinvara, County Galway. Deirdre was also the dairy category winner. Congratulations Deirdre! Find out about all the winners and finalists here and watch back on the Awards ceremony
Overall & Dairy Category Winner - 2020 Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year
Deirdre McMahon, Co. Galway
Deirdre completed the Teagasc Distance Education Green Cert programme at Pallaskenry College. She has a degree in nursing & worked as a nurse. She is now involved in the operation of her husband’s dairy herd & is fully involved in the decision making & strategic development. She found the farm planning project, farm management practices & sustainable farming practices of her course very valuable. She continues to upskill & has completed CPD courses & participates in discussion groups including a women’s discussion group. Her goal is a an efficient sustainable dairy farm enterprise.
Winner - Drystock Category 2020
Shane O'Brien, Co. Cork
Shane completed the Teagasc Distance Education Green Cert programme in Midleton. He successfully transitioned from a full time career as an airline pilot to a major involvement in the family farm through a partnership arrangement. The farm has store to beef, tillage & store lamb finishing enterprises. He gained a lot from the course & has implemented grassland practices including paddock setup, grass measurement, use of clover & PastureBase recording. He has a very strong focus on cost control, profitability measures & sustainability. His goal is to find the optimum farming system balance.
Winner - Other Land Based Enterprises Category 2020
Marian Dempsey, Co. Cavan
Marian attended Ballyhaise College for the Teagasc Level 6 Advanced Forestry Course. A lifelong interest in trees led her to pursue this interest more commercially, following her retirement from teaching. She found the Teagasc Forestry course a fantastic journey with excellent content delivered by staff with expertise in forestry & access to forest land at Balyhaise. The forestry business module was very helpful in assessing opportunities. Has developed a business based around her compact forestry focusing on forestry interpretative, experiential & appreciation courses for children & groups.
There were 19 finalists in the competition representing the full range of education courses offered by Teagasc. In addition to the 3 winners, the following 16 students were recognised for being finalists:
- Colin Cahalan, Co. Galway
- Shane Clifford, Co. Kerry
- Daire Comerford, Co. Laois
- Patrick Conlon, Co. Mayo
- Padraic Cullen, Co. Kildare
- Gearoid Doyle, Co. Wexford
- Laura Hannon, Co. Meath
- Niall Healy, Co. Tipperary
- Ewan Kane, Co. Kildare
- Kenneth Keegan, Co. Galway
- Conor Lehane, Co. Cork
- Aoife Nic Fhionnlaoich, Co. Dublin
- Mark Miley, Co. Roscommon
- Denis O’ Donoghue, Co. Cork
- Robert O'Mara, Co. Westmeath
- Susan Stephenson, Co. Leitrim
Read about our finalists here or view their videos here
Tony Pettit, Head of Education in Teagasc said: “I would like to congratulate the winners and all the finalists. The Teagasc / FBD Student of the Year award showcases the best students on Teagasc courses. I would like to thank FBD for their continued sponsorship for the awards. I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD.
Watch the 2020 Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year Awards back here