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Winner of 2020 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award announced

Teagasc welcomes the announcement by the Royal Dublin Society that the winner of the 2020 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award is Donegal farmer Ross Buchanan.

Winner of 2020 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award announced
Ross Buchanan winner of 2020 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award

Usually presented in front of a packed audience in the RDS Concert Hall as part of the annual Spring Livestock and Forestry Awards, this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, the award was presented to Ross on his farm and forest in Carndonagh on the Inishowen peninsula.

Receiving the Special Commendation Award in the 2020 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Category is Patrick Rhatigan, Roosky, County Roscommon.

In congratulating Ross Buchanan and Patrick Rhatigan on their awards, Professor Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc said: “Teagasc is delighted to be associated with the RDS Forestry Awards through our sponsorship of the Farm Forestry Award Category. This award recognises farmers like Ross and Patrick who are achieving sustainable integration of their forestry and farming enterprises. This will help farming families, and the communities in which they live, to build resilience by optimising the many economic, environmental, practical and social benefits that can accrue from farms and forests working together.”

According to Michael Duffy, RDS Chief Executive: “It is more important than ever to recognise the work of our farmers and foresters, who are contributing to the sustainable development of Irish agriculture.”

From traditional Donegal sheep farming stock, Ross Buchanan manages 48 hectares of diverse woodlands planted on an outlying farm in 2006. This has opened up new opportunities for farm diversification, and as such forestry is now very much an integral part of the farm. “Trees were once an integral part of Inishowen's heritage. Restoring some measure of the biodiversity and scenic value of woodland to promote the peninsula is something I would love to see in my lifetime,” he says.

Teagasc forestry advisor Steven Meyen said: “Ross’s story shows how farm forests can be a multipurpose resource and meet a range of owner objectives. Applicants for the RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award reflect a range of sustainable and innovative approaches to making farming and forests work together with benefits for all.” 

For more information on the RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award and all aspects of planting, management and training visit: www.teagasc.ie/forestry  

See RDS press release with the full lists of award winners https://www.rds.ie/about-rds/news/2020-winners-of-rds-spring-awards-revealed