Claire Rynn from Castlepollard was named the best young farmer in Westmeath at a ceremony in Wexford this week.
Claire is a 33-year-old mixed farmer from Castlepollard, Co Westmeath. She is a member of Collinstown Macra and holds a Green Cert and dairy diploma. Working on her farm for 10 years, sheep and suckler cow numbers have increased, and she has also added two slatted sheds and a silage slab.
Claire plans to increase lambing and calving percentages and build some farm roadways, and has attended courses on suckler cows, ECDL and first aid.
Twenty-five contestants from all over Ireland took part in the 13th FBD Young Farmer of the Year final. The competition, run by Macra na Feirme in conjunction with the IFA, aims to recognise excellence in the agricultural industry and promote farming as a career with a bright future.
Kevin Heavin, a dairy farmer from Offaly was named the overall winner, with second and third prizes going to Cork and Clare. Aoife Ladd from Avondhu, Cork took home the special prize for community involvement and Caroline O’Neill from Carbery, Co Kildare received the special prize for innovation in farming.
“The Young Farmer of the Year Awards promotes excellence among young, progressive farmers and recognises their commitment to both the agricultural industry and their local communities,” said Macra na Feirme national president, Alan Jagoe.
“Last week we witnessed the increased demand for agricultural science courses in our colleges; the farmers entering this competition are a perfect example of the types of young people making a career out of agriculture,” he said.