Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Award Ceremony for Europe’s Innovative Grassland Farmers

Award Ceremony for Europe’s Innovative Grassland Farmers
Grassland Farmer of the Year 2017 and Inno4Grass nominee for Ireland Eddie O'Donnell

Dr Michael O’Donovan, Head of the Grassland Science Department in Teagasc, said 'it is really important for Ireland to be involved in this event where we can showcase our excellent grassland farmers'

Europe’s most innovative grassland farmers are set to receive international awards for their innovation and commitment to excellence in grassland. This initiative is part of the three year Inno4Grass Thematic Network project, a €3 million project funded by Horizon 2020, the EU Research and Innovation programme.  The farmers receiving awards represent eight member states in Europe and are all excelling in grassland and grassland management despite differences in climate, systems and soil types. Each member state has recognised a farmer excelling in grassland through different competitions which took place in the member states.

The eight countries being celebrated at the Inno4Grass award ceremony are Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden, in which grasslands have a considerable share in the agricultural area and where production of dairy, beef and sheep from grassland is of major economic importance.

The award ceremony is set to take place in Germany from 11th to 12th June 2019. Participants will visit local farms near Oldenburg, Northern Germany to discuss grassland management with different grazing and conservation techniques on the 11th June and will then travel to Hannover for a Grassland Conference and the official award ceremony the following day. The German Ministry for Agriculture is supporting this event.

Ireland’s Project Leader, Dr Michael O’Donovan, Head of the Grassland Science Department in Teagasc, commented: “Eddie and Denis O’Donnell, the inaugural Grassland Farmers of the Year in 2017, are representing Ireland at the award ceremony. It is really important for Ireland to be involved in this event where we can showcase our excellent grassland farmers. The O’Donnell’s hosted a visit during the European Grassland Federation conference in 2018, which was well received by international visitors”.

Project coordinator, Arno Krause remarked: “I’m looking forward to presenting innovative grassland farmers around Europe with awards for their fantastic achievements in grassland. We call these farmers ‘lighthouse farmers’, they are shining lights in their countries, providing other farmers with guidance, ideas and knowledge in grassland, so it is important that we recognise their contribution to society in the award ceremony. This is one of the major achievements of the Inno4Grass project”.

The Inno4Grass programme strives to bridge the gap between practice and science communities to ensure the implementation of innovative systems on productive grasslands. The long term goal of the project is to increase profitability of European grassland farms and to preserve environmental values across Europe.

The following Table shows the award winning farmers and the Inno4Grass contact persons.  


Award winners

Inno4Grass Contact

Inno4Grass Contact Email


Eddie and Denis O’Donnell

Fergus Bogue



Hof Butendiek

Felicitas Kaemena


The Netherlands

Hielke and Hanny de Rooij

Agnes van den Pol-van Dasselaar



Velghe Jean-Marie

Benoit Delaite



Mariusz Duda,

Artur Paszkowski



Gavino Pulinas

Rita Melis



Earl Bordeau

Fanny Baste-Sauvaire



Per and Tore Larsson

Nilla Nilsdotter-Linde



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727368