Nominations for the National Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards 2022 are now open for nominations.

Farming for Nature (FFN) is a national initiative highlighting the positive role farmers can play in tackling biodiversity and climate emergencies.

One of the founders of and volunteers with FFN, Dr. Brendan Dunford, explained:

“At FFN we are convinced that, with the appropriate, targeted financial and technical support, farmers represent a great resource in tackling our biodiversity and climate crises.”

Now in its fifth year, FFN has grown into an active network of over 60 ambassadors encouraging farmers across the country to take measures to support nature on their land.

Aiming to now extend the network, FFN seeks for nominations of farmers from all types of farming systems and land types to become new ambassadors.

FFN is seeking farmers who farm using agriculturally, economically and socially advanced techniques, willing to share their own story, project manager, Brigid Barry, said.

The awards are sponsored by Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme and is part of a wider FFN initiative.

Dunford continued:

“For the past few years we have connected with so many inspiring farmers from all across Ireland.  Seeing and hearing these farmers share their love of nature, of their land and livestock and knowing that they work day in, day out to make sure nature has a place on their farms is really inspiring.

“These people are our unsung conservation heroes, the real ‘experts’ in farming for nature, and we need to hear more and learn more from them.”

FFN uses a network of over 200 heritage specialists nationwide to spot potential ambassadors which are then shortlisted based on different criteria before farms are visited.

The awards are for farmers who:

  • Are farming a minimum at one hectare and producing agricultural product for sale;
  • Have made a significant contribution to the protection or enhancement of nature on their farm and/or in their locality;
  • Are farming in a manner that is agriculturally, economically and socially progressive;
  • Have shared their passion with others (eg. through walks, local media etc.);
  • Have a record of engagement with other stakeholders;
  • Were not already awarded an ambassador roles in previous years.

Farmers who would like to be nominated need to contact their local farm advisor (Teagasc or FAS-accredited), their county heritage officer (county council) or their local wildlife ranger (NPWS) to make a nomination on their behalf. 

The closing date for nominations is on February 14, 2022.