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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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Online ag blogger & progressive dairy farmers among those honoured at awards ceremony

17 titles were presented at the National Dairy Awards at the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise last Thursday night, June 15th, 2023.

The black-tie gala event celebrated the high achievers that continue to “develop and strengthen” the Irish dairy industry.

As previously reported by in this news article, Vicky Kelleher received the Overall National Dairy Award and Carbery Dairy Farm Manager of the Year Awards from Ivan Yates and Cormac O’Keeffe, chairman of Carbery Group.

Other award winners on the night included:

Biodiversity & young dairy farmer awards
  • Lorcan McCabe, a Bailieborough native, claimed the AXA Biodiversity Dairy Farmer of the Year based on his entry, consistently working to incorporate the latest and best practices in sustainable farming into his family farm and devoting a significant portion of his land to biodiversity conservation. The award celebrates dairy farmers who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to biodiversity conservation and environmental stewardship, implementing innovative practices to enhance the natural capital on their farms. Lorcan McCabe received his award from Christy Doherty, Agri-business Manager, AXA.
  • Jack Kearney, a native of Rathcormac, claimed the Mullinahone Young Dairy Farmer of the Year Award. The 28 year-old dairy farmer runs an enterprise in partnership with his mother and father for the last nine years. His farm is involved in the Signpost Programme, helping gather on-farm data for research as well as sharing knowledge with other local farmers to support climate and sustainability actions on farms. The award is in recognition of dairy farmers under the age of 35 who have shown exceptional dedication to maintaining the health and welfare of their herd through the implementation of best practices and innovative solutions. Martin Ryan, CEO of Mullinahone Co-op, presented Jack Kearney with the Mullinahone Co-op Young Dairy Farmer of the Year award.
Social media & discussion group
  • Sophie Bell hailing from Virginia, claimed the Green Acre Marketing Social Media Ambassador of the Year Award. She has been using social media over the past number of years to authentically show her farming life in Ireland. Sophie has over 20,000 followers on Instagram and 7,000 followers on TikTok. The award highlights dairy farmers who have demonstrated exceptional use of social media to promote the dairy industry and engage with the public, sharing their passion for dairy farming and its vital role in society. Aileen Barron, managing director, Green Acre Marketing, presented Sophie with her award.
  • Pasture Apprentices claimed top honours in the Cormac Tagging Discussion Group of The Year. The group comprises 18 young farmers who are all striving to increase the social, environmental and economic sustainability of farms. They meet monthly to discuss seasonal management, benchmark current performance, benchmark production costs, and discuss new ideas. The award was presented to Jeremy Hichens of Pasture Apprentices by Ursula Kelly, managing director, Cormac Tagging.
Multi-species swards
  • Limerick native, Niall Moloney, was crowned Germinal Responsible Grassland Manager of the Year. His winning entry was based on his use of multi-species swards to reduce his dependence on chemical nitrogen. The award recognises dairy farmers who show sustainable and innovative grassland management and production. It rewards responsible practice in grassland management towards environmental, soil and water quality whilst maintaining production levels. Judges were particularly impressed with his use of clover. Dr. Mary McEvoy, Technical Director for Germinal Ireland, presented the Germinal Responsible Grassland Manager of the Year Award.
Dairy marketing campaign
  • ‘Farmer Time’ from Airfield Estate won the Dairy Marketing Campaign of the Year. It is a unique programme that links farmers with the consumers of tomorrow through virtual visits to the classroom during the school year. The aim is to inspire, engage and educate young people about not only the journey from farm to fork but also the ever-changing, diverse agricultural industry. The award highlights the most creative and effective marketing campaigns in the dairy industry, recognising their outstanding impact and success in promoting dairy products and raising awareness about the industry. The award was presented to Ruth Fitzsimon, Airfield, by judge Vanessa Kiely O’Connor, Women in Agriculture Stakeholders Group and dairy farmer.

Part two to follow on

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