This year’s FBD Young Farmer of the Year finalists have been announced, with the winner being named tonight (September 1) at the Twin Trees Hotel in Ballina, Co. Mayo.

The six finalists are as follows:

  • Graham Grothier – Co. Carlow
  • Thomas O’Connor – Co. Kildare
  • Garry Kinsella – Co. Wicklow
  • John Tully – Co. Galway
  • PJ O’Keeffe – Co. Kilkenny
  • Jonathan Marry – Co. Louth

The judging panel is led by Aaron Forde, Director and Chairman of Ornua, and Chief Executive Officer of Aurivo Co-operative Society Limited.

Dr. Vanessa Woods Agri Aware; Willie Fahey, former CEO of IFAC Accountants; Prof. Gerry Boyle, Director of Teagasc; Joe Healy, former Macra President; and Dr. Tommy Boland of UCD are the other judges on the panel.

The FBD Young Farmer of the Year awards is run by Macra na Feirme in partnership with the IFA. The aim of the competition is to recognise and reward the top young farmers in the country.

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

The overall winner of the competition will receive a bursary to undertake international travel and study farm practices. There will be sector prizes for beef, sheep, tillage, dairy, and other.