Top farmers rewarded at Grassland Farmer of the Year Awards
The overall winner of the Grassland Farmer of the Year 2020 is Caroline Walsh from Ballinascarthy, County Cork.
Celebrating its fourth year, the Grassland Farmer of the Year Awards rewarded the top grassland farmers in the country who are growing and utilising more grass on their farms.
The awards were supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) with an overall prize fund of €30,000. The winners were announced as part of an online awards ceremony on Tuesday.
Speaking at the online awards ceremony, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD congratulated the achievements in grassland management of all of the 15 finalists.
“As finalists you are joining a group of top class grassland farmers, and I would particularly like to congratulate Caroline Walsh on winning the overall Grassland Farmer of the Year Award. It’s an achievement you can be really proud of," the Minister said.
"It is clear that initiatives such as Grass10 and the Grassland Farmer of the Year are to the fore in helping farmers achieve the most they can from the natural resource they have on their farm, which is grass. Good grassland management is essential in meeting the targets set down in the AgClimatise Strategy.”
Overall winner of the Grassland Farmer of the Year 2020
Caroline Walsh, Ballinascarthy, Co Cork
Shane Kinsella, Piltown, Co Kilkenny
Niall Callanan, Craughwell, Co Galway
John O Connell, Rathduff, Co Cork
Graham Swanton, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
James Hoey, Dunleer, Co Louth
Young Farmer Category – David O’Leary, Castleisland, Co Kerry
Heavy Soils/Disadvantaged Land Category – Sean Barry, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick
Sustainable Farming Category – John Galvin, Dunmanway, Co Cork
Enterprise Category Winners
Sheep Category – Peter McGuinness, Trim, Co Meath
Dairy Category – Caroline Walsh, Ballinascarthy, Co Cork
Beef Production (non-suckling) Category– Pat Collins, Castlemartyr, Co Cork
Suckler Beef Production Category– Thomas Hogan, Nenagh, Co Tipperary
Grassland Merit Awards
Most Improved Grassland – Noel Hurley, Kildorrery, Co Cork
Most Improved Grassland – David Brady, Stradone, Co Cavan
Sustainable Grassland – JP Hammersley, Lattin, Co Tipperary
The judging panel for the Grassland Farmer of the Year competition were John Maher (Teagasc Grass10), Liz Hyland (DAFM), Bryan Doocey (AIB), P J O’Connor (Grassland Agro), Aidan Brennan (Irish Farmers Journal) and Ciaran Roche FBD (Insurance).