Macra has opened the 2024 FBD Young Farmer of the Year awards to nominations for its 26th year, with a prize of €5,000 for the competition’s overall winner.

Winners in the dairy, drystock, other enterprise, land mobility, young entrant and career farm management categories will take home €1,000 each, with a further €500 going to the Macra Agricultural Skillnet biodiversity award winner.

Young farmers in the tillage, pigs, poultry, equine, forestry and horticulture sector are eligible to enter the other enterprise competition category.

Those nominated for the best young entrant award must be under 23 years of age.

The competition is sponsored by FBD and is run in conjunction with the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) and Macra Agricultural Skillnet.

Each winner will receive FBD Hotel Group and FBD Insurance vouchers.

“We are a proud sponsor of these awards since they began 25 years ago and they are a highlight in our calendar every year,” chief commercial officer of FBD Insurance John Cahalan said.

“The FBD Young Farmer of the Year Awards shine a well-deserved spotlight on the achievements of our young farmers.

“It showcases the passion and innovation that exists in the next generation who are shaping the future of agriculture.”

Recognising talent

The awards recognise emerging talent and young farmers' progress within the sector, according to Macra president Elaine Houlihan.

“Macra has been at the forefront of progression in the Irish agriculture sector over the last 80 years, since our foundation in 1944,” Houlihan said.

“The FBD Young Farmer of the Year is the annual platform to recognise and showcase the best of Ireland's young farmers. I look forward to seeing what this year’s competition has in store as we celebrate 25 years of the awards,” said Houlihan.

IFA president Francie Gorman highlighted the competition as an opportunity for young farmers to show off their operations.

“Previous participants have spoken about how much they value the benefits of taking part. I would encourage anybody who has a passion for farming to get involved and interact with your peers,” Gorman commented.

Young farmers can be nominated by themselves or others before the nomination deadline of Friday 19 July.

Details on the nominations process can be found here.