The 2015 FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition will come to a close on September 1 when the winner will be announced at a banquet in the Twin Trees Hotel in Ballina. This year, for the first time, a representative from each enterprise sector could go through from every county. Thirty-nine young farmers got through to the semi-finals and from these, six finalists will compete for the top titles. The 17th annual FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition is run by Macra na Feirme in partnership with the IFA.
The Mayo based Young Farmer of the Year finalists are 34-year-old Lynne O'Malley from Cross, Cong, in the dairy section, and 19-year-old Joseph Joyce from Owenwee, Westport, in the sheep section. Both O'Malley and Joyce have competed against the country’s other top young farmers in their sector at a series of national semi-finals which took place recently. Both will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Michael Dee (1999 ), Tim Quinn (2008 ), and Séan O'Donnell (2014 ) who are previous overall winners of the competition.
The six finalists will be announced at a lunch in the Twin Trees Hotel and will then undergo final interviews that afternoon. The remaining finalists will benefit from a farm walk on the farm of Seán O’Donnell, the 2014 FBD Young Farmer of the Year. The aim of the competition is to recognise and reward the top young farmers in the country. Prizes will be awarded in all sectors, dairy, beef, sheep, tillage and other (poultry, pigs, etc ), as well as the prestigious overall prize of a travel bursary and title of FBD Young Farmer of the Year 2015.