THERE has been a fantastic response to this year’s West Cork Farming Awards, with judges now set to announce the finalists.
The Southern Star and Celtic Ross Hotel awards, in association with Ifac, launched in April and attracted interest from all over the region, and across categories including dairy, drystock, young farmer and diversification.
The latter award is presented to a winner who has developed a successful commercial farm-based enterprise that makes a positive financial contribution to their household income.
There was also a great response in both the Hall of Fame category, which recognises someone who has given an outstanding contribution to farming life in West Cork; and the farming family.
The farming family is a new category added to the line-up this year to reflect the uniqueness of West Cork farming.
It’s in recognition of the fact that families, and multi-generations, are the backbone of so many operations.
Families were invited to submit short videos to put the spotlight on their farms, and judges were hugely impressed with the entries.
Now, after weeks of work, scrutiny and in some cases interviews, the judges have made their finalist selections in the first four categories, and have also chosen the Hall of Fame and farming family winners.
In next week’s Southern Star, the finalists in the dairy category will be announced, with further announcements in subsequent editions, until the gala awards ceremony takes place in the Celtic Ross on October 7th.
The awards, in their eighth year, are designed to champion, promote and celebrate all that is great about the local farming community.
Past winners have said that being part of the awards had been a hugely positive and worthwhile experience.
Judges are Caroline Murphy of West Cork Eggs; Thomas Curran, newly-appointed head of the Teagasc Advisory Service; JJ Walsh, business advisor, and Marguerite Crowley, dairy farmer.
The panel is chaired by Seán Mahon, managing director of The Southern Star.