Teagasc Winner of 2023 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award announced
Teagasc welcomes the announcement by the Royal Dublin Society that the winner of the 2023 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award is Leitrim farmer Sean Creamer. Sean Creamer was presented with his award in Dublin yesterday, Wednesday, 7 June by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett and Dr Stan Lalor, Teagasc Director of Knowledge Transfer.
Receiving the Special Commendation Award in the 2023 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Category is Westmeath farmer Isabella Donnelly.
Farming full-time on 53 hectares in Ballinamore, County Leitrim, Sean Creamer manages a suckler herd and a young mixed forestry enterprise. In 2016, Sean decided to plant forestry along the recently re-developed Shannon Erne waterway on land, which had become challenging for farming. He identified forestry as a steady and reliable income stream but also an opportunity to grow quality timber and enhance local biodiversity and landscape.
Today, his diverse forest of nine different types of conifer and native broadleaf trees is growing very well on land that he struggled to farm and provides important additional farm income. As a strong advocate of farmers working with the environment, Sean sees the impact of the forest going far beyond the financial gain with real benefits for biodiversity, animal welfare, water quality and carbon storage.
On receiving the 2023 RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award, Sean Creamer said: “I am delighted to receive this award. Not only is the forest allowing our farm to be more financially sustainable but is also really helping environmentally which is something I strongly believe in.”
The RDS Teagasc Farm Forestry Award category recognises working farmers who follow a whole farm planning approach to successfully integrate their farm and forestry enterprises and contribute to farming sustainability.
Congratulating Sean Creamer, Dr Stan Lalor, Teagasc Director of Knowledge Transfer, highlighted how “the award acknowledges Sean’s successful diversification into forestry and the sustainable integration of his forestry and farming enterprises.”
Dr Lalor added: “With farmers facing many challenges, the need to forward plan and explore possibilities to innovate and diversify is central to a sustainable and resilient agricultural sector. Sean is an excellent example of a farmer whose vision and positive actions are contributing to the economic and environmental sustainability of Irish Agriculture. Teagasc is delighted to be associated with the RDS Forestry Awards through our sponsorship of the Farm Forestry Award Category.”
According to RDS President, John Dardis: “It is more important than ever to recognise the work of our farmers, foresters and agri-entrepreneurs, who are contributing to the sustainable development of Irish agriculture, which remains the most important industry in rural Ireland. This year’s Spring Agriculture and Forestry Award winners have achieved a balance between the economic and environmental needs of the sector and are highlighting what is possible when experience is combined with innovation and dedication.”
Noel Kennedy, Teagasc Forestry Advisor said: “Sean’s award is well deserved and his successful diversification into forestry highlights how farms and forests can work so well together with strong economic, practical, social and environmental benefits. His success is a great example for others to aspire to.”
For more information on all aspects of forest creation, management and training visit www.teagasc.ie/forestry