The search is on for the National Rural Network (NRN) Biodiversity Farmer of the Year. This is the second year of this prestigious award, which is part of Macra Na Feirme’s FBD Young Farmer of the Year Awards. NRN Biodiversity Farmer of the Year Award recognises a farmer who is farming in a sustainable manner by encouraging biodiversity and protecting the environment.

Raymond Langan a sheep farmer from Co. Mayo won the inaugural award in 2018. He was chosen as the winner for his unwavering enthusiasm for protecting the environment and enhancing biodiversity on his farm.

The Biodiversity Farmer of the Year Award is supported by the NRN, a membership network for farmers, agricultural advisors, rural communities and others interested in rural development. It provides up-to-date information, case studies, seminars and conferences to maximise the beneficial outcomes of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 for rural stakeholders. The NRN is focusing on specific themed areas including Biodiversity, Climate Change, EIP-AGRI, EU Life, LEADER and viability and competitiveness.

Seamus Boland, Project Director of the NRN, says he hopes the inclusion of the biodiversity award in the FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition will raise farmers’ awareness of biodiversity: “Farmers play a major role in maintaining and managing biodiversity. They are the custodians of the land and the environment and their actions play a key role in maintaining and enhancing biodiversity. Farmers have to be able to demonstrate it is possible to produce food sustainably while meeting the needs of the environment.”

You can nominate a young farmer for one of the categories or you can enter yourself by visiting www.macra.ie/yfy

The winner of the NRN Biodiversity Award will be chosen from the candidates put forward for the FDB Young Farmer of the Year Award. The closing date for applications is Friday 21 June 2019. The final will take place on Tuesday 3 September in the FBD Castleknock Hotel, Dublin.

The winner of the overall 2019 FBD Young Farmer of the Year will receive a travel bursary and the opportunity to experience farm practices abroad, while also developing their skills. As in previous years, all category winners will also receive an award.

To qualify applicants must be:

  • Under 35 years of age on the 1st January 2019
  • A member of Macra na Feirme or the IFA
  • Involved in the running of the farm on which they currently work for a least three years, either full time or part time.

Note: All 2018 county winners and all past ‘FBD Young Farmer of the Year’ winners are ineligible to enter – all other entrants from last year and previous years may enter the competition.

To enter visit: www.macra.ie/yfy

Young Farmer of the Year