The closing date for applications and nominations for the 2016 Macra na Feirme FBD Young Farmer of the Year is tomorrow.

Farmers in all enterprise categories — beef, sheep, dairy, tillage and other (pigs, poultry, horticulture) — are invited to apply.

Entrants are judged according to criteria including farm business initiative and innovation, levels of efficiency and enterprise quality, farm safety and environmental protection awareness, as well as agricultural knowledge and community involvement.

Young farmers can also be nominated.

The competition was launched by organisers Macra na Feirme, sponsors FBD and partners, the IFA, with the help of the current FBD Young Farmer of the Year, Jonathan Marry, a pig farmer from Louth.

Entrants will compete in each enterprise category in a bid to be crowned the winner in their category and be in the running to take the overall title. As well as a €3,000 travel bursary for the overall winner, prizes will also be awarded to the top young farmer in each category.

A representative from each enterprise will be chosen in every county and will benefit from a targeted regional technical day for their sector.

There, they will develop their specific skills and compete against their counterparts from other counties.

“This is a wonderful competition and I would encourage all young farmers to enter the FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition as it provides young farmers with an invaluable experience and learning opportunity,” said Macra national president Seán Finan.

“As a previous county winner, I found that participating in the competition offered a once-off chance to meet fellow young farmers, learn from their experiences, and to share knowledge with each other, but most importantly, identify ways to further grow and develop your farm business.”

FBD head of farm and business, Christy Doherty added: “This is an exciting time for young farmers as they strive to meet the increasing global demand for Irish produce. We expect to see the proof of this growth and development reflected in what will hopefully be a record number of excellent applicants.”

Forms are available for download on www.macra.ie 


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