Macra na Feirme has announced Dara Killeen as the 2020 FBD Young Farmer of the Year.

The young Galway man is milking 150 high-EBI crossbred cows in Meelick, Co Galway, in partnership with his father.

The farm switched from sheep production to dairy farming in 2017 and is now a focus farm for its co-op Aurivo.

“It is a huge honour for me and my family to be awarded. I was lucky to take over the farm at a young age and it is great to reward the faith my parents have put in me,” said Dara, who is a Farmer Writes columnist for the Irish Farmers Journal.

Dara Killeen from Meelick, Co Galway, celebrates after being named the Macra/FBD Young Farmer of the Year 2020.

“Dara demonstrates all the best qualities of a young farmer, progressive, environmentally conscious and quality-focused. Each contestant throughout the competition has instilled in me that the future of farming is indeed bright,” said Macra president Thomas Duffy.

“We hope that these awards inspire the next generation of farmers to believe in themselves and to continue to build their farm businesses for the future which will make us proud on a global stage”, said John Cahalan, FBD’s chief commercial officer.

IFA president Tim Cullinan acknowledged the importance of young farmers in the Irish agriculture, saying: “The lifeblood of any sector is the young people coming in and bringing in fresh thoughts and fresh ideas to the sector.”

Read more

Long read: the Galway farmer saying goodbye to sheep for a life in dairy

Farmer Writes: finishing up the first year in dairying

Farmer writes: workload involved with a dairy conversion is constant