6 finalists for the 2018 FBD Young Farmer of the Year award confirmed

The six finalists for the 2018 FBD Young Farmer of the Year award have been confirmed this afternoon (Tuesday, September 11).

The 20th FBD Young Farmer of the Year will be crowned tonight at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin.

Organised by the young farmers’ group Macra na Feirme and supported by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), recent winners of the award include PJ O’Keeffe (2017) – a dairy farmer from Co. Kilkenny – and Kevin Moran (2016) – a dairy farmer from Co. Mayo.

This year’s finalists include:
  • Eamonn Keevers (Dairy);
  • Sean Kelly (Dairy);
  • Daniel Hawthorne (Beef);
  • Linda Hanbridge-Cliffe (Collaborative)
  • Luna Orofiamma (Sheep)
  • Maighread Barron (Land Mobility).

The six finalists will now go forward to the final round of interviews with the judging panel this afternoon to decide who will be crowned the 2018 FBD Young Farmer of the Year.

Commenting previously on the competition, the national president of Macra na Feirme, James Healy, said: “This is the 20th year of the FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition.

“The longevity and growth in importance of this competition is thanks to the great support of our sponsor FBD, our partner the IFA and the calibre of entrants who make this competition such a prestigious event.

This is a great competition and it gives young farmers from all backgrounds an opportunity to showcase the skills and knowledge they have acquired during their career to date.

The winner of the 2018 FBD Young Farmer of the Year award will receive a travel bursary and the opportunity to experience farm practices abroad, while also developing their skills.

Category winners

Furthermore, the overall winners of the individual categories for this year’s competition have also been announced.

These include:
  • Dairy – Eamonn Keevers;
  • Beef – Daniel Hawthorne;
  • Sheep – Luna Orofiamma;
  • Other Enterprise – Thomas Hayes;
  • Collaborative Farming – Linda Hanbridge-Cliffe.

The winner of the National Rural Network Biodiversity award, as well as the Best Emerging Female Farmer and the Best Emerging Male Farmer, will be announced at tonight’s ceremony in the Castleknock Hotel.