Daniel Hawthorne, a 24 year old beef farmer from Monaghan was crowned the 20th FBD Young Farmer of the Year on Tuesday night in the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin. An active member of Newbliss Macra, Daniel is currently in the process of becoming a new entrant into the poultry sector. He has won the prestigious title following a challenging interview process. Judging panel chairperson Sharon McGuinness, chief executive of the Health and Safety Authority, announced the winner at the awards ceremony. Daniel has won a travel bursary worth €3,000.
The competition is organised by Macra na Feirme in partnership with the IFA, the National Rural Network and sponsors, FBD. There were awards for several other categories handed out on the night.
There winners were:
• Eamonn Keevers (Dairy);
• Daniel Hawthorne (Beef);
• Luna Orofiamma (Sheep)
• Thomas Hayes (Other Enterprise)
• Maighread Barron (Land Mobility)
• Linda Hanbidge-Cliffe (Collaborative Farming)
• Louise Crowley (Best Emerging Female Farmer)
• Patrick Byrne (Best Emerging Male Farmer)
• Raymond Langan (National Rural Network Biodiversity Award)
Macra na Feirme national president, James Healy, said: ‘The Young Farmer of the Year is one of the jewels in the crown of the Macra na Feirme calendar. It's a night where the farming industry comes together to recognise the brightest and best young farmers in the country. Congratulations to all our finalists and category winners especially our 20th Young Farmer of the Year Daniel Hawthorne.
Fiona Muldoon, CEO FBD Insurance said, ‘FBD Insurance plc continues to support this prestigious event for the young farmers of Ireland run by Macra na Feirme. Now in its 20th year, the nominees for the FBD Young Farmer of the Year award are the next generation of farming talent in Ireland. In these uncertain times, FBD Insurance knows the importance of supporting all Irish farmers to develop and future-proof our farming industry and Ireland’s rural communities. I know these Awards inspire young farmers to believe in themselves, embrace technology and build their farm businesses for the future. The team at FBD’s congratulates all 2018 participants and in particular well done to this year’s winner’.
IFA President Joe Healy said, 'The farmers of the future will have to be resilient, agile and adaptable. If this year’s weather events have taught us anything, it is that the ability to confront unexpected challenges will have to be in every farmer’s armoury. In its 20 year history, The FBD Young Farmer of the Year event has successfully drawn the best from the candidates and has always chosen a winner that represents everything that is good about the emerging talent in Irish farming'.
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.