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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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180-cow dairy farm manager lands Young Farmer of the Year title

A farm manager from County Cork, Owen Ashton, is the 2021 FBD Young Farmer of the Year.

A graduate in agriculture from Aberystwyth University in Wales, he manages a dairy herd of 180 cows in Castlelyons, County Cork.

Over the last number of years, he has developed the farm and focused on environmental sustainability.

Owen was one of many Macra na Feirme members to be recognised for their achievements in their industry at the awards ceremony broadcast on Macra na Feirme’s Facebook page.

FBD Young Farmer

Furthermore, the evening also saw various category winners awarded:

  • Trevor Cobbe from Laois won the Dairy award;
  • Eoin Kennedy from Kilkenny won the Land Mobility award;
  • Éanna Tiernan from Roscommon won the Dry Stock award;
  • Shane Halpin from Dublin won the Other Enterprises award;
  • Owen Ashton from Cork won the Career Farm Manager award;
  • Edward Treanor from Monaghan was a finalist in the competition;
  • Éanna Tiernan: winner of the NRN Biodiversity Award sponsored by the National Rural Network.

Chairman of FBD Trust Michael Berkery said:

“On behalf of everybody at FBD, I would like to extend our congratulations to Owen Ashton. This award is very well deserved. It is a testament to Owen’s 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”.

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Macra na Feirme National President John Keane said: “Every year, we recognise the very best in young Irish farmers.”

“This year is no different, and our finalist and all those who have competed in this year’s FBD Young Farmer of the Year showcase the best farmers across the globe, who are Irish young progressive farmers.”

“It is a true testament to the competition and those competing that our young farmers set the standard for agriculture in terms of sustainability and ambition.”

IFA president, Tim Cullinan, said the calibre of contestants in this year’s competition was of “a very high” standard.

“With all the changes and challenges ahead, the sector will need bright, innovative and resilient people to drive farming forward. I wish all those who took part the very best for the future.”

Farmer of the Year Awards

In their 23rd year, FBD Insurance and Macra na Feirme supports the awards in association with the IFA and the National Rural Network.

The competition aims to recognise and reward the top young farmers in the country.

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;
  • Agricultural knowledge;
  • Community involvement.
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