THREE Mid Cork farmers, Tom and Alice O’Sullivan, and Peter Hynes, have been named among the winners at the nationwide Farmer of the Year Awards, which were held in Dublin at the end of May.
Crookstown’s Tom and Alice O’Sullivan took home the gold together in the Dairy Farmer of the Year category, while Aherla’s Peter Hynes won both the Rising Star award and the Grand Prix award, for the overall Farmer of the Year.
The Zurich Farm Insurance-Farming Independent Farmer of the Year Awards, now in their fourth year, recognised excellence in all areas of the Irish farming industry. Having overcome tough competition to take home the top accolades, winners were presented with a cash prize of €2,500 at the special awards ceremony for their achievements.
The awards featured six categories, including Beef, Dairy, Tillage and Farm Safety. In addition, a special ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ was awarded to Martin Ryan from Newport, Co Tipperary.
Speaking at the awards, Declan O’Halloran, Head of Sales & Agri Business for Zurich Insurance, ‘The Farmer of the Year Awards are designed to celebrate excellence across a wide range of farming categories and to reward Ireland’s farmers for their contribution to their communities and to society. Tom O’Sullivan, Alice O’Sullivan and Peter Hynes have set themselves apart in their categories and we’re proud to help recognise these accomplishments.
‘These awards are a celebration of their successes and a showcase of some of the world-class work carried out by Ireland’s farming community.
It’s great to see them becoming an annual highlight in the farming calendar.’
Overall sponsor, Zurich Insurance, is one of the country’s leading farm insurers. Category sponsors for the awards are the Health & Safety Authority, the ICMSA, the Irish Independent and Teagasc.
The full list of 2017 award winners was:
·Dairy Farmer of the Year – Tom and Alice O’Sullivan, Crookstown, Co Cork
·Beef Farmer of the Year – Eamonn Holohan, Rathdowney, Co Laois
·Tillage Farmer of the Year – Tim, Jack and Mark Ronaldson, Naas, Co Kildare
· Sheep Farmer of the Year – Joe Scahill, Wesport, Co Mayo
·Rising Star – Peter Hynes, Aherla, Co Cork
· Excellence in Farm Safety – Jack Murphy, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, and Michael Callinan, Inagh, Co Clare
· Grand Prix – Peter Hynes, Aherla, Co Cork
·Lifetime Achievement Award – Martin Ryan, Newport, Co Tipperary.