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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Could you be the €5,000 FBD Young Farmer of the Year?

Macra na Feirme has officially launched its search for the 2022 24th FBD Young Farmer of the Year.

The competition was launched in 1999 and has “successfully” raised the profile of young farmers within their community by recognising their achievements and contribution to farming.

The FBD Young Farmer of the Year Awards, in association with Macra na Feirme, are sponsored annually by FBD and run by Macra na Feirme with partnerships with the IFA and the National Rural Network.

2022 Young Farmer of the Year Award

The 2022 competition features category awards for:

  • Dairy;
  • Drystock (beef and sheep);
  • Other enterprises: horticulture, pigs, poultry, tillage, equine;
  • Land mobility and farm management.

Main awards:

  • 2022 FBD Young Farmer of the Year title;
  • Best Emerging Young Farmer;
  • National Rural Network Biodiversity Farmer of the Year Award.

Prize money and vouchers

According to organisers, the stakes are “higher” in this year’s competition.

In an exciting development, the overall prize fund is “increasing substantially” with an increased overall pot of cash prizes and the addition of insurance and hotel vouchers for category winners.

The overall winner of the 2022 FBD Young Farmer of the Year will receive €5,000.

Furthermore, each category winner and the Emerging Young Farmer will take home €1,000.

FBD will donate €250 to any Macra members who become a finalist in this year’s competition. Each winner will receive vouchers from the FBD Hotel Group and FBD Insurance.

How to enter

You can nominate a young farmer for one of the categories, or you can enter yourself by visiting

The closing date for applications is Monday, September 26th, 2022.

Applications and nominations are now open for the 2022 FBD Young Farmer of the Year Awards.

Farmer bashing

In other Macra-related news, recently, its president, John Keane, previously stated that young farmers will deliver emissions reduction, not farmer bashing.

He said young farmers have consistently come forward to outline how they will step up to drive emissions reduction from the agricultural sector.

Farmer bashing from certain sections of the environmental lobby will do nothing to deliver results in lowering emissions from agriculture, Keane stressed.

He believes that the “real” issue to tackle in the emissions discussions is to increase the number of young people actively” farming.

Keane is of the view that there is a pathway forward based on “sound” science and with solutions that are practical to implement on farms across the country.

He stated that the measures in the Teagasc MACC+ and “those to” come will deliver for the agriculture sector.”

The farm leader highlighted that young farmers are delivering emissions reductions on farms for many years. These include:

  • Improved breeding;
  • Reduction in fertiliser application;
  • Improved grass utilisation on-farm.

Mr Keane emphasised how young farmers are the “frontline” environmentalists. Therefore, he believes what they need is a “significant” investment in technology and succession pathways to develop as active farmers.

“Currently, there are more farmers on walking sticks over the age of 80 than there are under the age of 35.”

“More active farmers under 35 will drive emissions reductions and improve farm practices,” he concluded.

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