The inaugural Talamh (Irish word for earth/land) Awards, the new smart agriculture and rural enterprise awards scheme, was launched in partnership with the RDS earlier today (Tuesday, May 22).

The scheme is designed to recognise the success, tenacity and dedication of the Irish agriculture and rural sector as a key contributor to the Irish economy, according to organisers.

The Talamh Awards are structured around key areas of Irish agriculture and rural enterprise, with a particular focus on sustainability – environmental sustainability, commercial sustainability and community sustainability.

Award categories include:
  • Young Agri-Scientist Award;
  • Sustainable Farming Award;
  • National Agriculture Achievement Award;
  • Innovation / Technology Award;
  • Emerging Business Award;
  • Product of the Year Award;
  • Agri-tourism Award;
  • Local Hero Award;
  • RDS Ceres Award.

Open to agricultural businesses and rural enterprises of all sizes across the island of Ireland, entrants must “demonstrate excellence and a commitment to innovation and development that furthers the interests of agriculture and rural enterprise at large”.

Winners will be selected by a panel of agricultural and rural enterprise experts.

Each entry will be judged on merit, regardless of company size, and according to the following key criteria:
  • Successful and sustainable business;
  • Strength and ambition of ideas;
  • Innovative concepts and approaches;
  • Courage, strategy and determination;
  • Positive engagement benefiting the sector.

On Friday, October 12, the winners of the inaugural Talamh Award will be announced at a Gala Dinner in the RDS.

Each winner will be presented with a handcrafted trophy designed by renowned silversmith Eimear Conyard.

L-R: president of the RDS, Bernie Brennan; with members of the judging panel Dorin Graham; John Dardis; and Majella Kelleher. Image source: Andres Poveda

Speaking following the announcement Michael Duffy, RDS chief executive, said: “There is a rich tradition of supporting excellence in agriculture in the RDS. It was one of our founding aims when the RDS first started in 1731, which we continue through to today with our work in agriculture.

We are delighted to support this event and glad that our long-standing credentials in supporting best-in-class farming will help support the Talamh Awards.

The Talamh Awards are free to enter and online entry is open from now until July 17 at