Egerton wins UGS Grassland Farmer of the Year
Co Fermanagh beef and sheep farmer John Egerton has won the competition organised by the Ulster Grassland Society (UGS).

John Egerton, who contributes to the Irish Farmers Journal’s “farmer writes” column, was declared Grassland Farmer of the Year at the UGS’s annual conference in Mallusk, Co Antrim, this Tuesday.

The competition singles out a farmer with excellent or unique grassland management practices and an ability to compare their performance with others and share their experience.

UGS judges visit competing farms twice to identify the most efficient grassland farming in relation to the natural resources of the farm, irrespective of the farming system. They examine grass management and utilisation, silage utilisation and winter feeding arrangements, and environmental practice.

Prizes sponsored by Danske Bank total £1,000, including £500 for the winner.

Upon joining the AFBI’s GrassCheck programme last summer, John wrote in the Irish Farmers Journal: “We are all caught up in Brexit and what’s going to happen with subsidies. I think that if we look under our feet we are probably wasting more money (by poor grassland management) than we will lose as a result of the changes that lie ahead.”

John Egerton from Rosslea (second from right) being presented the 2018 Ulster Grassland Society Farmer of the Year award by last year's winner society president John Milligan from Castlewellan. Front row from left, U.G.S. Competition Secretary Stephen Morrison and Sponsor Rodney Brown Danske Bank. Other prizewinners included from left, back row, Mark Johnstone Ahoghill, John Pickin Hillsborough, Leslie Beggs Omagh, Reggie Lilburn Dromore, Paul Turley Downpatrick and Philip Truesdale Banbridge.

John Egerton from Rosslea (second from right) being presented the 2018 UGS Farmer of the Year award by last year’s winner, society president John Milligan from Castlewellan. Front row, from left, UGS competition secretary Stephen Morrison and sponsor Rodney Brown, Danske Bank. Other prizewinners included from left, back row: Mark Johnstone, Ahoghill; John Pickin, Hillsborough; Leslie Beggs, Omagh; Reggie Lilburn, Dromore; Paul Turley, Downpatrick; and Philip Truesdale, Banbridge.

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Watch: Keeping children safe on farms
On the fourth day of #FarmSafetyWeek, the focus is on keeping children safe on the farm.

Between 2007 and 2016, a total of 23 children lost their lives due to farm accidents. The focus for the fourth day of farm safety week, is educating children about the dangers of farms.

“Summer is a particularly dangerous time for children on farms as they’re off school and are about more when work activity is running at a very high level - often with contractors on-site operating potentially dangerous vehicles and machinery,” said Caroline Farrell, IFA farm family chair.

Agri Aware the agri-food educational body has a number of resources focusing on farm safety including the “Once Upon a Farm” farm safety awareness video.

“The first step is educating people, especially children,” said Agri Aware chair Richard Moeran. “If we can instil in their minds, from an early age, an awareness of the dangers on the farm, and help them to form good farm safety habits, that lesson will be with them for a lifetime.”

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Crossing cows across busy main road a 'farm safety issue'

Weekly podcast: harvest 2018, Glanbia Cheese and Farm Safety Week
In this week's podcast, we get the latest news from the harvest, join Glanbia Cheese in Portlaoise where its new factory will be built and discuss ways of raising awareness on farm safety.

Listen to "Glanbia's new cheese plant and Farm Safety Week - Podcast Ep. 174" on Spreaker.

Click here to download this week's podcast.

Subscribe to the Irish Farmers Journal’s weekly podcast on iTunes

Tillage editor Andy Doyle and tillage reporter Stephen Robb join news correspondent Thomas Hubert for an update on the 2018 harvest.

In Portlaoise, agribusiness editor Eoin Lowry speaks to Paul Vernon, chief executive of Glanbia Cheese, about the company's new mozzarella venture.

Beyond Farm Safety Week, Deidre O'Shea, chief executive of Agri Aware, tells Irish Farmers Journal reporter Una Sinnott about the work that goes into creating awareness of farm safety throughout the whole school and farming year.

Missed the previous episodes of the podcast? Catch up here: