A TOTAL of six awards will be presented at the 2019 West Cork Farming Awards at a gala lunchtime event at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery this Sunday, September 22nd, starting at 12 noon.
Two of the award winners in this, the 5th annual awards run by The Southern Star in conjunction with the Celtic Ross Hotel, are already announced:
• The Hall of Fame award, sponsored by IFAC, will be presented to Nealie O’Leary of Coomhola, Bantry, and
• The special Judges’ Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Farming Community, sponsored by Hodnett Forde, Auctioneers, is being presented to the West Cork Farm Tours group.
The winners of the other four awards will be chosen from shortlists of three for each category with stiff competition making for a difficult choice for the panel of judges, which comprises Con Downing, editor of The Southern Star, and includes Tom Curran, regional manager of Teagasc Cork West; JJ Walsh, business advisor, and John Buckley, a former Macra Young Farmer of the Year.
Those shortlisted in the four categories are (in alphabetical order):
• Young Farmer of the Year award, sponsored by Drimoleague Concrete Works – Fergal Coughlan, Innishannon; Conor Moloney, Kilbrittain, and Evan Shorten, Newcestown.
• Sustainability & Diversification award, sponsored by Scally’s SuperValu, Clonakilty – Jerry O’Donoghue, Parkana, Bantry; Padraig O’Driscoll, Coolbawn, Caheragh, and John Young, Curraghlickey, Drinagh.
• Dairy Farmer of the Year, sponsored by Allied Irish Bank – Nigel Daunt, Innishannon; Brendan Hurley, Jagoes Mills, Kinsale, and Conor Murphy, Clonlea, Clonakilty.
• Drystock Farmer of the Year, sponsored by Eurogene AI Services – Aidan Coughlan, Skehanore, Ballydehob; Sean Kelleher, Newcestown, and Shane O’Neill, Tooreensillane, Skibbereen.
Each winner will receive a specially-commissioned trophy and a prize to the value of €500, courtesy of the respective category sponsor.
Special guest speaker will be Damien O’Reilly, the popular presenter of Countrywide on RTÉ Radio 1 on Saturday mornings.
Tickets must be pre-booked on 023-8848722 and paid for in advance. Unreserved tickets will not be available to purchase on the day of the awards.