SHANAGOLDEN farmer Dermot O’Connor has been named Macra na Feirme’s FBD Young Farmer of the Year.
The announcement was made in Kinnitty Castle, County Offaly, last night after he and five other farmers were interviewed for the award.
Dermot becomes the third Limerick winner of the competition after Michael Reidy in 2002 and John Macnamara in 2005.
Six finalists were picked next week in the national semi-finals of the competition, run by Macra na Feirme in partnership with the IFA.
Dermot is a 28 year old dairy farmer and holds a FETAC Cert in Animal and Crop Production and Farm Business. The Limerick IFA man is an all-rounder as he plays soccer with Creeves Celtic and takes part in the yearly Pig and Porter tag rugby competition.
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, as well as agricultural knowledge and community involvement.
The total prize fund for the 2012 FBD Young Farmer of the Year Competition is €10,000. Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place as well as to winners of the Innovation and Community Involvement Awards and to each county winner.