The Mayo FBD Young Farmer of the Year winner has been announced as Sean O’Donnell from Ballina. He will go on to represent Mayo at the semi-final of the 16th annual FBD Young Farmer of the Year Competition, run by Macra na Feirme in partnership with the IFA.
Sean is a dairy farmer from Ballina, Mayo. He is milking 110 cows and has young stock. The plan is to increase to 150 cows and he is at the moment at the early stages of talk about share farming some land with a neighbour. If this goes through and works, he will have access to land meaning that reaching his plan of 150 cows would be very achievable. Sean is the chair of his local discussion group at the moment and he plays football with his local club.
The 28 county finalists will each compete in the national semi-finals taking place on August 20 and 22. Six overall finalists will then go through to the rigorous final interview on September 2 in the Westlodge Hotel, Bantry, Co Cork. The aim of this prestigious competition is to recognise and reward the top young farmers in the country. The competition is kindly supported by FBD Insurance. 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.
Prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third places as well as to winners of the ‘innovation’ and ‘community involvement’ awards and to each county winner. The overall winner of the competition will receive a bursary to undertake international travel and study farm practices.