Sligo dairy farmer, Christopher Tuffy, was crowned the 2022 FBD Young Farmer of the Year, in association with Macra, at a celebratory dinner in the Radisson Blu, Little Island, Cork, last night (Tuesday).
Tuffy – who has been awarded a €3,000 travel bursary – runs a spring-calving dairy enterprise on a leased block alongside his parents, partner, Eimear, and their child, Larlaith.
Owen Ashton, a farm manager from Cork, clinched the title last year, but it now heads back to the west after Dara Killeen secured it in 2020.
It has been a victorious few days for the province as the news comes just days after Chris Meehan in neighbouring Co. Mayo commanded a top call of €14,500 for his BYU daughter at the 2022 Carrick Winter Fair, as reported by That’s Farming.
Macra, in partnership with the IFA, runs the FBD Young Farmer of the Year awards run annually.
Launched in 1999, the competition aims to raise the profile of young farmers within their community by recognising their achievements and contribution to farming.
Adjudication candidates are judged under the following criteria:
- Farm business initiative and innovation;
- Knowledge of production costs and returns;
- Vision and planning for the future farm business;
- General agricultural, environmental protection and sustainability knowledge;
- Involvement in agri sector and the community;
- Personal development initiatives;
- Farm safety.
Hard work, passion and dedication
Chair of the judging panel, Joe Healy, said there was an “extremely” high standard from all the contestants at semi-final and final level and their knowledge and positivity towards the challenges and the opportunities in Irish agriculture, was “second to none”.
Tomás Ó’Midheach, CEO of FBD Insurance, said Tuffy’s award is “a testament to his hard work, passion and dedication”.
“Our hope is that these awards will inspire the next generation of farmers to build strong and sustainable farm businesses for the future.”
John Keane, president of Macra, explained that Tuffy demonstrated “the skills and knowledge that it takes to be the pinnacle of Irish agriculture”.
“I know that Christopher will inspire many young people to become farmers for the future but also to inspire those already farming to improve and develop,” Keane concluded.
Finalists in this year’s competition included:
- Edward Treanor: Runs a dairy farm in Monaghan in partnership with his father;
- Christopher Tuffy: Spring-calving dairy farmer on a leased block in Sligo;
- Andrew McMenamin: Calf-to-beef farmer, buying from local dairy farmers and finishing all stock;
- Neil Reidy: 111 spring calving cow farmer on predominately heavy soils land;
- William Fouhy: In a farming partnership with his parents, milking a pedigree Holstein Friesian herd of cows;
- Michael Quigley: A dairy farmer from North Tipperary, milking 360 cows on mostly rented land on long-term leases;
- Frank Melody: Alongside his brother Joseph, the trainee solicitor runs a pastured egg business on the family farm in Bunratty, Clare;
- Kieran Dunphy: Milking 170 cows on a milking platform of 62 hectares and 85 hectares in total;
- Caroline O’Keeffe: A part-time dairy and beef farmer in north Cork;
- Henry Cahill: A dairy farmer from Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick;
- Bill Gleeson: A dairy and beef farmer from outside Nenagh; performance.
- Joe Hughes: A third-generation dairy farmer who works alongside his parents, milking 370 cows in a winter and spring milk system;
- Edward Roe: In partnership with his father, Edward, Co Tipperary runs a suckler farm which includes some pedigree Herefords;
- Helena Coughlin: A full-time dairy and beef farming in Avondhu in partnership with her parents. She has a B.Ag in Animal and Crop Production from UCD, and returned home to farm after a number of years working in consumer foods in the US and in the agri industry in Ireland.