Kevin Moran from Co Mayo is this year’s FBD Young Farmer of the Year.
The dairy farmer, a member of Claremorris Macra, was bestowed with the honour at a gala banquet in Drogheda, Co Louth, on Tuesday night.
He took the prestigious title following a challenging interview process and on farm visit. Judging panel chairman, Michael Hoey, managing director of Country Crest, announced the result at the Boyne Valley Hotel and Country Club.
In all, some 33 young farmers participated in the 18th year of the competition which is run by Macra na Feirme in partnership with the Irish Farmers’ Association and sponsored by FBD.
There was also sector prizes for dairy, beef, sheep and tillage/other. The winners were Michael Kenny, Ferbane Macra, Offaly; a beef farmer; Mattie John Kelly of South Roscommon Macra, a sheep farmer; Kevin picked up the dairy award, while Stephen Robb of Proper Job Macra, Donegal, took the win in the tillage/other category.
Thomas Duffy of Ramor Macra, Co Cavan, a dairy farmer; and Brian Keegan of South Kildare Macra, a beef farmer; were awarded adjudicator prizes.
Kevin runs a 220-cow dairy enterprise in Co Mayo, is heavily involved with local GAA club, Caherlistrane, and is a 2015 Nuffield Scholar.
All entrants were judged on farm business initiative and innovation, farm efficiency and enterprise quality, farm safety, environmental protection, agricultural knowledge, and community involvement.
Kevin was presented with a €3,000 international travel bursary.
Macra president, Seán Finan, said: “This is one of the most prestigious nights on the farming calendar where industry and farmers come together to recognise and award the brightest and best young farmers in the country.
“Well done to everyone who took part and congratulations to the category winners and to Kevin Moran from Mayo the 18th FBD Young Farmer of the Year.”
IFA president Joe Healy said: “It’s not only an opportunity for the winners to go forward and represent themselves, their sector, and the organisation, but I think what I’ve seen through the years as a judge is the number of people that came, did the interviews, and then realised what they needed to improve on inside their farm gate.
“Let Macra and the IFA worry about lobbying and the other aspects of farming outside the gate, but there’s a lot that can be improved on inside the farm gate on a lot of farms and I think that’s what the young farmers taking part in this competition need to take away from it as well, because we can all make improvements”.
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