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Sustainable Farmer Award Winners Announced at FBD National Livestock Show

Winners highlight benefits of implementing sustainability practices

The winners of the inaugural Sustainable Farmer Awards, a partnership between the FBD National Livestock Show, Bord Bia, Teagasc and the Irish Farmers Journal were presented with their prizes by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Charlie McConalogue T.D. at the Tullamore Show on Sunday, 13 August.

The Awards form an important part of the first ever Sustainable Livestock Village at the Show and showcase the positive sustainability practices being implemented on beef and lamb farms across the country.

Commenting on the Awards, Show Livestock Chairman, Michael Dolan said “the award winners highlight the good work being done on farms to implement sustainable practices. They provide useful pointers for other farmers as they work to improve the sustainability of their enterprise.”

The Awards recognise the achievements of winning farms across five farming systems:

  • Suckler calf to weanling/store - Margaret & Jack Stevenson, Co. Donegal   
  • Suckler to beef - Vincent Keane, Co. Galway                                     
  • Dairy calf to beef - Catriona & Joe O’Meara, Co. Wexford                   
  • Beef finisher - Samuel Hill, Co. Cavan
  • Lamb producer - PJ Finnerty, Co. Roscommon                                              

Jim O Toole, Bord Bia Chief Executive commented: “I’d like to congratulate the winners and thank all the finalists for their participation in this year’s Sustainable Farmer Awards. The finalists were selected from almost 56,000 members of our Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme using verified audit data. These farmers are among the top performers with regard to their carbon footprint, grassland and manure management and soil fertility. Farm sustainability is  increasingly important in driving the purchasing decisions of global buyers and through the participation of Irish farmers in Origin Green, we can continue to build on the positive reputation of Irish meat & dairy.”

Commenting on the Awards, Adam Woods, Deputy Editor with the Irish Farmers Journal said that “The Irish Farmers Journal is delighted to partner with the industry in this year’s Sustainability Farmer Awards. In a changing world, it has been never more important to highlight the huge amount of work, that is already taking place on Irish farms in relation to climate change. We hope that this new initiative will give more farmers the confidence to make changes to their farms, which will leave them more profitable and lower their carbon footprint.”

Teagasc cattle specialist, Aidan Murray highlighted that “Livestock farmers are embracing technologies to farm in a more sustainable way. The finalists in this competition are excellent role models of how farmers are working with nature and using modern science based technologies to improve their economic and environmental sustainability. The Signposts programme – Farmers for Climate Action, which is supported by over 60 organisations and 120 signpost farms, is demonstrating best practice to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming. A free signpost service is available to all farmers who register with Teagasc.”

The Sustainable Livestock Village represents a collaboration between the National Livestock Show, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Bia, Teagasc, Animal Health Ireland, ICBF, Dairy industry Ireland, Meat Industry Ireland and the Irish Farmers Journal.

Sustainable Farmer Awards Finalists

Samuel Hill Corravilla, Shercock, Co. Cavan.*
Julie & James O’Brien Cormeen, Mullagh, Co. Cavan.
Jerry Casey Elmvale, Brittas, Lombardstown, Mallow, Co. Cork.
Margaret & Jack Stevenson Greenleas, Castlefin, Co. Donegal.*
Vincent Keane Cappabeg, Kinvara, Co. Galway.*
Martin Kelly Slaskaghmore, Dunmore, Co. Galway.
Herbert & Ivan Austin Glebe, Coolrain, Co. Laois.
Michael Dunne Cloneyquinn, Portarlington, Co. Laois.
Michael Gleeson Ballinlough, Hospital, Co. Limerick.
PJ Finnerty Kilcar, Brideswell, Athlone, Co. Roscommon.*
Gerard Kelly Ballaghaba, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon.
Ray Tully Dromore House, Dromore West, Co. Sligo.
Edmond Phelan Caher, Fenor, Tramore, Co. Waterford.
Padraig Keane Mayglass, Bridgetown, Co. Wexford.
Catriona & Joe O’Meara Camross, Foulksmills, Co. Wexford.*
Brian Mulligan The Paddock, Kilmacanogue, Bray, Co. Wicklow.
*Category Winner