Grassland Farmer of the Year: Think you have what it takes?

The Grassland Farmer of the Year competition for 2018 was officially launched yesterday, Friday, June 15, by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

This is the second year of the competition – which acknowledges dairy, beef and sheep farmers who are achieving high levels of grass utilisation on their farms.

Minister Creed was attending a Grass10 farm walk on the farm of Ger Dineen in Cork, who is the National Beef Winner of the 2017 Grassland Farmer of the year awards.

Over 300 people attended yesterday’s event. This competition promotes the effective utilisation of the national grassland resource on beef, dairy and sheep farms.

According to Teagasc, Ger Dineen is an excellent example of a farmer who is growing more grass and grazing more grass – which is improving the profitability of his business.

The Teagasc Grass10 campaign is focused on increasing the quantity of grass utilised on livestock farms with the objective of achieving 10t grass dry matter per hectare per annum utilised, with 10 grazings per paddock per year.

Its focus is on the sustainable production of milk and meat from grass.

Coordinator of the Teagasc Grass10 campaign John Maher said: “Grass is the key to profitable and sustainable milk and meat production in Ireland.

Through the Grass10 campaign and through this Grassland Farmer of the Year competition, we want to encourage farmers across the country and across the enterprises to optimise the use of the valuable resources that grass is on Irish farms.

The closing date for applications to the 2018 Grassland Farmer of the Year competition is Friday, July 20.