The winner of this year’s FBD Young Farmer of the Year, in association with Macra, was announced at a celebratory dinner in the Radisson Blu Little Island, Cork on Tuesday, 29 November.
The overall winner is Christopher Tuffy, a spring calving dairy farmer from Sligo, milking on a leased block. He farms alongside his parents, partner Eimear and baby Larlaith. Christopher plays football with Enniscrone/Kilglass GAA.
Run annually by Macra in partnership with the IFA, the FBD Young Farmer of the Year awards was launched in 1999 and has been successful in raising the profile of young farmers within their community by recognising their achievements and contribution to farming.
Candidates are judged under the following criteria: Farm business initiative and innovation; Knowledge of production costs and returns; Vision and planning for the future farm business; General agricultural, environmental protection and sustainability knowledge; Involvement in agri sector and the community; Personal development initiatives; and Farm safety.
Bill Gleeson from Tipperary was 1st runner-up, with Edward Treanor from Monaghan 2nd runner-up. Winner of the Land Mobility category was Micheal Quigley from Tipperary, with a fellow Tipperary man, Edward Roe being named as the Drystock winner.
Best New Entrant was announced as Kieran Dunphy from Waterford, while Andrew McMenamin from Donegal was announced as the NRN Biodiversity winner. Meanwhile, Frank Melody from Clare won the ‘Other Enterprises’ category.
Commenting on the competition and the winning entrant, chair of the judging panel Joe Healy noted: “There was an extremely high standard from all the contestants at semi-final and final level and their knowledge, and positivity, towards the challenges and the opportunities in Irish agricultural was second to none.”
John Keane, President of Macra, added: “On behalf of Macra, I would like to congratulate our overall winner Christopher Tuffy. Christopher has demonstrated the skills and knowledge that it takes to be the pinnacle of Irish agriculture. I know that Christopher will inspire many young people to become farmers for the future but also to inspire those already farming to improve and develop.
“I also want to thank all our members who entered the competition for putting themselves forward and standing out from the crowd. I hope that you are very proud of yourselves and have learned from the competition. Macra and FBD have long been close allies and this competition recognises the importance of youth in Irish Agriculture, which is critical to support to develop our sector long term.”