National Macra prize for Abbeydorney farmer

John Michael Fitzgerald
John Michael Fitzgerald

A YOUNG dairy and beef farmer from Abbeydorney has been honoured at the 2013 Macra na Feirme's FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition.

John Michael Fitzgerald (pictured right) was chosen as the Kerry finalist in this year's competition and received his award at the weekend from Conor Gouldson from FBD Insurance.

The competition aims to recognise and reward the top young farmers in the country, with entrants being judged on their business initiative and innovation, farm efficiency, quality control, farm safety, environmental awareness, agricultural knowledge and community involvement.

Macra na Feirme National President, Kieran O'Dowd, praised John Michael and the 23 other young farmers who made it through to the national final, saying the competition showcases excellence among young, highly progressive farmers and recognises their commitment to both the agricultural industry and their local communities.

The 25-year-old Abbeydorney farmer - who holds a level 6 Cert in agriculture - says he plans to improve his farmyard facilities and expand his existing dairy herd before the abolition of milk quotas in 2015. He is the chairman of his local GAA club, has a BA in business, a Masters in economics, and teaches business, accounting economics and maths at second level.