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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.

Winner of the Teagasc / FBD Student of the Year Award Announced

She was also the dairy category winner.

Deirdre completed the Teagasc Distance Education Green Cert programme at Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry, County Lmerick. She has a degree in nursing and worked as a nurse, but is now involved in the operation of the family dairy herd. She continues to upskill and has completed CPD courses and participates in discussion groups including a women’s discussion group. Her goal is an efficient sustainable dairy farm enterprise.

The Drystock Category winner is Shane O'Brien from Whiterock, Midleton, County Cork. Shane completed the Teagasc Distance Education Green Cert programme in Midleton. He is successfully transitioning 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 has a very strong focus on cost control, profitability measures & sustainability.

The winner of the ‘Other Land Based Enterprises’ Category is Marian Dempsey, Hilltop, Skerrig, Coorehill, County 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. The forestry business module was very helpful in assessing opportunities. She has developed a business based around her compact forestry, focusing on forestry interpretative, experiential and appreciation courses for children and 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

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.