Stage is set for this year’s West Cork Farming Awards

October 7th, 2022 8:00 AM

By Emma Connolly

Judges in this year’s farming awards, from left: JJ Walsh, Marguerite Crowley, Sean Mahon, Neil Grant and Caroline Murphy. (Photo: John Beasley)

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ANTICIPATION is building ahead of the announcement of this year’s West Cork Farming Awards.

Key figures of the local, and national, agri-sector, will be in the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery on Friday to hear the winners announced across categories including dairy, young farmer, drystock and diversification.

Each of these hotly-contested category has three worthy finalists who we’ve profiled on this page in recent weeks.

The calibre of entries this year was higher than ever, making the task of our esteemed judges even more challenging, however their decisions have been made and will be announced at the gala lunch attended by IFA president Tim Cullinan.

This is the eighth year of the awards in association with Ifac and we’re pleased to say the interest is as strong as ever.

The winner of our prestigious Hall of Fame award was announced last week and that’s James O’Mahony of the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, who was instrumental in delivering the Sheep’s Head Way Trail.

We’ve also already announced our inaugural Farming Family award, and that’s the Lucey family from Canovee who epitomise everything that’s wonderful about West Cork farming.

The rest of the winners are strictly under wraps until the lunch which will feature the best of local produce. You can read about all of the nominees in each of the categories here.

Sean Mahon, managing director of The Southern Star said: ‘We’re really looking forward to our gala awards lunch this week with around 180 guests coming together to celebrate the men, women, families and businesses that make West Cork farming so special.

'For the eighth year in a row we were really heartened to see the quality of entries that we received this year.

‘I must say thank you to everyone that has entered or nominated someone, to our expert judges, to all of our awards sponsors and also to the hard- working teams at The Southern Star and Celtic Ross Hotel who do all the work behind the scenes for these awards.’

• See next week’s Southern Star for extensive coverage of the awards.

Why we support West Cork farming

IFAC has been providing accountancy services and financial advice to farming families for over 45 years. With over 30 ifac offices nationwide, including three Cork locations, our clients can access top-quality service from a location that is convenient for them.

We are proud to continue our support of the West Cork Farming Awards as they continue to promote and celebrate all that is great about the local farming community.

The past few years have seen great challenges and change across all sectors, which is why now, more than ever, supporting the local economy is something we feel passionately about.

We know from our years working closely with farmers the dedication to producing high-quality, sustainable food. From venturing into renewables and organics, to embracing agtech, farmers are constantly evolving and innovating with these efforts shaping the future of Ireland’s Agri sector.

‘We understand the hard work and long hours that go into running a farm, and we are proud to join The Southern Star and Celtic Ross Hotel in honouring those who have excelled this past year,’ said Gearoid Condon, partner, Ifac.

‘Farming and agriculture are at the heart of our country, producing enough food to feed not only ourselves but also people around the world.

'Our markets and demand are constantly growing, and to meet this, our farmers are working to improve efficiencies and support of the West Cork farming awards as they continue to promote and celebrate all that is great about the local farming community.

This is no easy task, and we believe that the recognition provided by these awards is important, not only for the individual farmers who are short-listed, but for the sector as a whole.’

• Gearoid Condon is a partner at Ifac, the headline sponsors of the West Cork Farming Awards.

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