Dwayne Shiels, a pedigree sheep farmer from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal has been named the 2023 FBD Young Farmer of the Year.
Dwayne has also been named category award winner for Land Mobility. In addition to farming, Dwayne is a lecturer in Agricultural Sciences at Atlantic Technological University, Donegal.
Dwayne was one of many talented young farmers to be recognised for their achievements. The evening also saw a number of additional category winners:
– Patrick Egan of Mayo was named Runner up and the winner of the Drystock category
– Stephen O Keeffe of Limerick won Best New Entrant
– Philip Tallon of Meath won Other Enterprises category
– Sean Kelly of Tipperary won the Dairy category
– Conor Doran of Wexford won the Biodiversity Young Farmer of the Year award
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the FBD Young Farmer of the Year Awards which were held at the Radisson Blu hotel in Sligo, home county of last year’s winner Christopher Tuffy. Marty Morrissey, who was the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, entertained the crowd and the past winners in attendance were invited on stage to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the awards.
Elaine Houlihan, National President of Macra, said, “the FBD Young Farmer of the Year Awards acknowledge and celebrate the talent, commitment and hard work of young farmers across Ireland. Tonight’s winner, Dwayne Shiels, is a shining example of the talent of Ireland’s young farmers. In fact, all of the finalists here tonight, highlight the best and the brightest in the industry. What better way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the awards than with a slate of such high calibre candidates. Congratulations to Dwayne and all of tonight’s winners. We thank FBD for sponsoring these awards for the last 25 years and the IFA for their partnership. It is our young farmers who are the future of farming in this country and these awards ensure that the future of farming has its night in the spotlight.”
Tomás Ó’Midheach, CEO, FBD Insurance, said, “on behalf of the team at FBD, I would like to extend our congratulations to Dwayne Shiels. This award is a testament to Dwayne’s hard work, passion and commitment. FBD Insurance is proud to partner with FBD Trust to sponsor the FBD Young Farmer of the Year Awards. We are delighted to have been working with Macra for the past 25 years to support these awards which celebrate the achievements of our young farmers and their contribution to farming. While much has changed over the past 25 years, one thing that remains constant is the infectious energy, dedication and enthusiasm of competitors over all these years. Our hope is that these awards will continue to inspire the next generation of farmers to build their farm businesses for a sustainable future.”
The aim of the competition is to recognise and reward the top young farmers in the country. Entrants are judged according to a number of criteria including farm business initiative and innovation, levels of farm efficiency and enterprise quality, farm safety and environmental protection awareness, and agricultural knowledge.
Source: Farming Life