Farmer of the Year awards return with €20,000 fund
The hunt is on for the country's top farmers as the Zurich Farming Independent Farmer of the Year Awards returns, with a fantastic prize fund of over €20,000.
If you believe you are one of the best producers in the country or you know one of the top farmers now is your chance to get recognition for all the hard work.
You can log on to www.farmeroftheyear.ie to apply online or to download a form to enter by post. The awards are free to enter and farmers can nominate themselves or alternatively be nominated by a third party
There are a wide range of categories available to enter including Beef, Sheep, Dairy, Tillage, Equestrian, Alternative Farm Enterprises and Rising Stars, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Grand Prix Award for the overall Farmer of the Year for 2016.
Last year's Lifetime Achievement Award went to Anna May McHugh for her dedicated service to the National Ploughing Association.
In addition there is a category to promote excellence in farm safety, which is being sponsored by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).
The Alternative Farm Enterprise category gives farmers involved in more niche enterprises such as vegetables, fruit, pigs, poultry, flowers, and organics, along with those engaged in forestry, an opportunity to show-case their achievements. The Rising Star section is aimed at recognising the huge pool of talent that is coming up through the ranks of Irish agriculture.
Award winners will share a prize fund of €20,000 which will be presented at a glitzy ceremony in The Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin on Friday May 20, 2016.