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23 May 2022

Top Grassland Farming award for Kilkenny farmer

Paulstown man is among Ireland's top class grassland farmers

Kilkenny Kilkenny

At the Grassland Farmer of the Year Awards 2021 are Dairy Enterprise Category Runner-up Peter Brophy, Paulstown,  his wife Jane and daughter Caroline with sponsors and Teagasc representatives

A Kilkenny farmer has scooped one of the top national awards in grassland farming.

Peter Brophy, from Paulstown, has been named as the runner-up in the Dairy Enterprise Category at this year's awards.

Paul was accompanied by his wife Jane and daughter Caroline for the presentation. They are pictured above with sponsors Eamon O'Reilly, AIB, Liam Woulfe, Grassland Agro, Martin Heydon T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Padraig Walsh, FBD Insurance & Chairman Teagasc Grass10 stakeholder committee, Aidan Brennan, Irish Farmers Journal, Liam Herlihy, Teagasc Chairman & Prof. Frank O'Mara, Teagasc Director.

Now in its fifth year the awards recognise and reward the top grassland farmers in the country who are growing and utilising more grass on their farms in a sustainable manner. The awards are supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with an overall prize fund of €20,000.


The Overall Winner of the Grassland Farmer of the Year 2021 is Colin Doherty, Adare, Co Limerick.  The winners were announced  at the Teagasc Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation centre, Moorepark, County Cork 


Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Martin Heydon T.D. congratulated all of the 10 finalists on their achievements in grassland management. He said: “As finalists you are joining a group of top class grassland farmers, and I would particularly like to congratulate Colin Doherty on winning the overall Grassland Farmer of the Year Award. It’s an achievement you can be really proud of. It is clear that initiatives such as Grass10 and the Grassland Farmer of the Year are to the fore in helping farmers achieve the most they can from the natural resource they have on their farm, which is grass.”


The Grassland Farmer of the Year awards are part of the Teagasc Grass10 campaign which is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Teagasc, AIB, FBD Insurance, Grassland Agro and the Irish Farmers Journal. The 1st year of Phase II of the programme has been completed with a continued focus on improving nutrient management and efficiency on farm and clover incorporation.


Runners-up

Dairy Enterprise Runner-up - Peter Brophy, Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny

Dairy Enterprise Runner-up - Daniel Rundle, Ardee, Co. Louth

Dairy Enterprise Runner-up - Jim Conway, Cahir, Co. Tipperary

Drystock Enterprise Runner-up - Shane Moore, Athleague, o. Roscommon


Category winners:

Young Farmer Category – Philip Tyndall, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

Mixed Soils Category – Sean O’Donnell, Ballina, Co. Mayo 

Clover/Sustainable Farming Category – Brendan Walsh, Cahir, Co. Tipperary

Innovation in Grassland – Brigid Carroll, Gorey, Co. Wexford


Enterprise Category Winners:

Drystock Category – Aidan Maguire, Navan, Co. Meath

Dairy Category – Colin Doherty, Adare, Co. Limerick


Overall Winner of the Grassland Farmer of the Year 2021 -

Colin Doherty, Adare, Co. Limerick


Speaking on behalf of the competition judges, Aidan Brennan Irish Farmers Journal said: “One thing that we looked at this year was clover establishment and management. We also focussed on sustainability, particularly the environmental footprint, but also Health and Safety. There was a massive uptake of low emission slurry spreading and protected urea among the contestants. The fact that the average grass growth among the finalists was 13.4 tonnes of Dry Matter per  hectare just shows that you can be very efficient while also being very sustainable.”


Padraig Walshe, dairy farmer and chair of the Teagasc Grass10 stakeholder committee said: “Grass10 is a very important programme for the promotion of best practise in grassland management. It’s about transferring the research and innovation out onto farms. These awards are a celebration of this. It is very important to recognise the excellence achieved and we look forward to holding farm walks later in the year, so the messages get out to more farmers.”


Speaking at the awards ceremony, Teagasc Chairman Liam Herlihy said: “Congratulations and very well done to all the farmers who are finalists today. You are all exceptional farmers doing an excellent job and today is a day to acknowledge this. Your focus on grass growth, grass measurement, and the grass management skills is acknowledged through these awards.  In relation to the Grass10 programme, the focus in Phase II, is to challenge four main areas. These areas are specifically; Moving Grassland Knowledge out to the industry; Continuing to increase the usage of PastureBase Ireland; Improving Nutrient Use Efficiency on grassland farms in 2022 and increasing the emphasis and adoption of White Clover in grassland swards.“


Professor Frank O’Mara, Teagasc Director said; ”Grass is the bedrock of our beef, dairy and sheep enterprises. It is what gives us our competitive advantage from an economic and environment perspective.”


The judging panel for the Grassland Farmer of the Year competition consisted of John Maher, Teagasc Grass10; Bryan Doocey, AIB; John O’Loughlin, Grassland Agro; Aidan Brennan, Irish Farmers Journal; Bridget Lynch, Teagasc; Colin Heaney, FBD and Liz Hyland DAFM.


To read more about each of the finalists and the winners visit 

https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/grassland/grass10/grassland-farmer-of-the-year-2021/



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