Teagasc competition

Pictured making presentation to Dara Mulligan, Gurteen Agricultural College, at the inaugral AIB / Teagasc Best Farm Business National Award Winner are: Professor Gerry Boyle, Teagasc Director; James McDonnell, Teagasc; Tadhg Buckley, AIB Agricultural Adviser; Edmond Connolly, Macra na Feirme and Mike Pearson, Principal Gurteen Agricultural College

Dara Mulligan from Gurteen Agricultural College has been awarded the top award in the inaugural AIB / Teagasc Best Farm Business Plan Awards in the Horse & Jockey Hotel, County Tipperary on July 17.

Dara, a native of Longford, won the AIB / Teagasc Best Farm Business Plan National Award for his interview and farm business plan which focused on progressively increasing his dairy herd and scaling back existing beef enterprise.

Speaking at the National Awards presentation Tadhg Buckley Agri Advisor AIB said: ”AIB are delighted to partner with Teagasc, in this, the first year of the AIB / Teagasc Best Farm Business Plan Awards. The initiative places a strong emphasis on farm planning and financial planning, both key skills necessary for effective management in today’s environment. We have been impressed by the quality and standard of farm plans and by the confidence of the students we met today and indeed at each of the Teagasc Agricultural Colleges”.

In thanking AIB for their sponsorship of this new award, Tony Pettit, Head of Education in Teagasc highlighted the emphasis Teagasc place on farm planning in their education programmes. He said: “Young people who intend to farm, part time or full time, may prefer to focus on the practical aspects of farming; however they also need to understand farm planning principles as well. A key question is will their current system of farming deliver a viable income in the future. This farm business planning competition will help Teagasc students gain a better insight into the farm planning process”’.

Six students represented the respective Teagasc and Private Agricultural Colleges and competed for the National Award, after each had won the individual college award. All participants – Jeremy Furlong (Kildalton); Kieran Raftery (Mountbellew); Thomas Moroney (Clonakilty); Paul Horgan (Pallaskenry) and Michael White (Ballyhaise), were presented with their respective Awards on the day.