ASA Novus Award to Zoetis's Roy Geary
The Agricultural Science Association has awarded its inaugural Novus award to Roy Geary of animal health company Zoetis ahead of its annual conference on Friday.

Geary, who is general manager for the Nordic Region and Ireland with Zoetis, was one of five finalists selected among 40 entrants from the entire spectrum of the agri-food sector.

The Novus Award is sponsored by Kerry Group and recognises outstanding leadership among graduates working in the Irish agri-food sector.

Kerry Group's Director of Corporate Affairs Frank Hayes presented Geary with the prize at the ASA conference banquet, which was attended by 600 leading agri-food industry executives in Kilkenny on Thursday.

As winner of the €10,000 award, Geary will represent the ASA and the Irish agri-food industry at the prestigious Harvard Business School Agribusiness seminar in Boston, USA in January 2016.

Cork man Geary is a graduate in agricultural science from UCD and holds an MBA from UCC. He started his career in the AI and farm services division of Dairygold.

Since joining Zoetis in 2003, he has held a number of senior positions including business development and country manager, before taking up his current role in June 2014. He is also chairman of the animal health division of the Animal and Plant Health Association (APHA), the representative body for manufacturers and distributors on animal medicines.

Congratulating Geary, ASA President Eoin Lowry said the overall quality of applications demonstrates the outstanding calibre of professionals within the agri-food sector.

The other finalists were: Dr Anne Finnegan, AIB; Páidí Kelly, PhD student Teagasc Moorepark; Dr Stan Lalor, Grassland AGRO and Dr Karina Pierce, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.

Members of the final judging panel were: Albert McQuaid, Chief Technology Officer Kerry Group; Prof Paul Ross, Head of the UCC School of Science, Engineering and Food Science; Tara McCarthy, Director of the Food and Beverage Division Bord Bia (Chief Executive of BIM since 1 September 2015); and Liam Myles, former Teagasc education specialist, who chaired the judging panel.

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Full coverage of the ASA conference

Arrabawn holds December milk price
The processor is the most recent to announce that its milk price will be unchanged.

Arrabawn has decided to hold its price for December milk at 30.6c/l excluding VAT.

The price has remained unchanged for several months.

Most co-ops opted to leave milk prices unchanged for December.

Dairygold

Dairygold announced that it will hold their December milk price at 30.36c/l excluding VAT.

The price is inclusive of a 0.5c/l quality bonus based on standard constituents of 3.3% protein and 3.6% butterfat.

The co-op has also held this price for several months.

Lakeland Dairies, Glanbia and Kerry Group held their price at 30.4c/l (excluding VAT) for December milk supplies.

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Dairygold holds December milk price

Aurivo and Carbery set milk prices for December

The farmer's daily wrap: low-cost loans and BDGP map
Check out the latest headlines and get a look ahead at tomorrow's weather forecast.

Weather forecast

A status yellow nationwide snow and ice warning is in place from 7pm Monday 21 January until 9pm the following day.

According to Met Éireann, hill and mountain areas are expected to be the worst affected.

Frost and ice are predicted and temperatures will dip to -1°C, with fresh winds.

In the news

  • Minister Creed has said some 2,511 farmers are yet to pass the approval process for their BDGP payment.
  • Vets have criticised the Department’s level of action in the run-up to Brexit.
  • Grant funding of up to €25,000 is available to farmers participating in GLAS to restore traditional farm buildings and structures.
  • Farmers will have to draw down a minimum of €50,000 to access the next low-cost loan scheme.
  • Social Farming is set to double the number of its farmer participants from 60 to 120, according to its annual report.
    Minimum €50,000 draw-down for low-cost loans
    Farmers will have to draw down a minimum of €50,000 to access the next low-cost loan scheme.

    The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has confirmed details of the Future Growth Loan Scheme, including that farmers will have to apply for a minimum of €50,000 to avail of the scheme.

    The long-awaited low-cost loan scheme will offer eligible businesses and farmers loans at an interest rate of 4.5% or less.

    The maximum draw down is €3m and the loans are for terms of between eight and 10 years.

    Banks have been invited to apply to distribute the new low-cost loan scheme, with Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank all having previously expressed interest in taking part in the scheme.

    Loans in March

    Up to €300m is available under the scheme, which is being developed in conjunction with the SBCI, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Business.

    Minister for Business Heather Humphreys previously told the Irish Farmers Journal that she hopes to see the loan scheme fully operational by March this year.

    Financial institutions have until 11 February to submit their applications to become lending partners.

    Previous scheme

    Under the previous low-cost loan scheme, the interest rate was set at 2.95%, with loan terms available between 18 months and three years.

    A total fund of €150m was available, with roughly €145m drawn down by farmers. By October last year, some €47.5m had been repaid.

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    Listen: low-cost loans to land in March

    Where is the low-interest loan fund?