ENTRIES are already starting to register for this year’s West Cork Farming Awards, across all categories.
This is the eighth year of the event, organised by The Southern Star and Celtic Ross Hotel, and we’re delighted that the appetite for the awards, and the support in the community, is as strong as ever.
It’s also reassuring to note that there’s no shortage of farmers who meet the various category criteria, which bodes well for the sector locally.
A new category this year is the Farming Family Award. It was the brainchild of judge Caroline Murphy, who knows from personal experience that families are the backbone of so many local farming operations.
Caroline runs the award-winning business West Cork Eggs, while also running a dairy farm with her husband Batt near Rosscarbery.
Neither, she said, would be possible without their kids’ involvement. ‘Since we’ve had our children, they’ve had age-appropriate jobs on the farm, and I’d go so far as to say that the egg business wouldn’t be possible without them. It’s all hands on deck here,’ said Caroline.
‘Their involvement is more than just about farming though, it’s about learning about nature and seasons and where food comes from.
‘It’s also about learning responsibility, because if they don’t do their jobs, there are consequences, so they learn really important life skills. They get to see that it’s hard work but that it’s also a good life, and with everyone involved we can take pride in what’s going on,’ said Caroline.
With that in mind, she’s now urging other farming families to put the spotlight on what they do and enter the category in this year’s awards.
To enter all that’s required is to submit a two-minute video showing what life on yourfarm is all about. Caroline’s advice is not to over think it, and to keep it simple.
‘Just show us who is involved, what you all do, and importantly have fun while you’re doing it!’
One main message to get across, she said, is to share what the best thing about living on a farm is to you.
Whether it’s blocking a gap in the road, changing the fence, feeding calves, helping with silage, or delivering the flask of tea and sandwiches to the yard, every role is crucial and we want to know about it!
This is the perfect chance for everyone, young and old, two and four-legged, to enjoy the limelight. The category is sponsored by Cultivate (Credit Union) and the super prize includes an overnight stay for the winning family at the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery with breakfast, family passes to The Lagoon and Smugglers Cove, a picnic and evening meal.
There are also passes for all to the Park Cinema in Clonakilty.