Stet­sons dusted off for Bal­ly­houra barn dance

Irish Examiner - Farming - - MACRA -

Bal­ly­houra Macra’s barn dance and bar­be­cue was a huge suc­cess. The event took place in Walsh’s, Kil­dor­rery, with plenty of food and en­ter­tain­ment on of­fer. Some at­ten­dees re­ally got into the coun­try spirit by don­ning cow­boy hats and checked shirts.

Bal­ly­houra Macra mem­bers have thanked ev­ery­one for their sup­port on the night and all those who vol­un­teered at the event. To­mor­row night, mem­bers will at­tend the re­gional bowl­ing com­pe­ti­tion in Planet En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre, Black­pool.

Any­one aged be­tween 17 and 35 who wishes to join the club, can check out Bal­ly­houra Macra on Face­book. Yo u n g f a r m e r s m u s t a c t quickly if they are to beat to­mor­row’s dead­line to en­ter the Macra na Feirme/ FBD Young Farmer of the Year com­pe­ti­tion.

Its aim is to recog­nise and rewa r d t h e c o u n t r y ’ s t o p young farm­ers. En­trants are judged ac­cord­ing to cri­te­ria that in­clude farm busi­ness ini­tia­tive and in­no­va­tion, lev­els of farm ef­fi­ciency and en­ter­prise qual­ity, farm safety and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion aware­ness, as well as agri­cul­tural knowl­edge and com­mu­nity in­volve­ment. Young farm­ers in­volved in sec­tors such as beef, dairy, sheep and oth­ers — in­clud­ing hor­ti­cul­ture, pigs, poul­try, and tillage — are en­cour­aged to en­ter. Young farm­ers can also be nom­i­nated. The win­ner of each sec­tor will com­pete to be crowned the over­all cham­pion and re­ceive a travel bur­sary and the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence farm prac­tices abroad. There will also be a Fu­ture Farmer award for an emerg­ing young farmer un­der the age of 23. County win­ners will also re­ceive awards.

“The Young Farmer of the Year com­pe­ti­tion has gone from strength to strength since the in­au­gu­ral com­pe­ti­tion in 1999, thanks in no small part to spon­sors FBD and our part­ners, the IFA,” said Macra na­tional pres­i­dent James Healy.

“The com­pe­ti­tion is a f an­tas­tic show­case of the enor­mous tal­ent and po­ten­tial that ex­ists within the Ir­ish agri­cul­ture sec­tor. It also pro­vides recog­ni­tion and en­cour­age­ment for young farm­ers at the be­gin­ning of their ca­reers. I would en­cour­age all our young farm­ers to put them­selves for­ward for what will b e a ve r y r ewa r d i ng an d ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence. Fiona Mul­doon CEO of FBD added: “FBD is proud to foster the next gen­er­a­tion of Ir­ish farm­ers through com­pe­ti­tions such as Young Farmer of the Year. Ev­ery year, this com- pe­ti­tion re­flects the strength and depth of the new tal­ent emerg­ing in the Ir­ish agri­cul­ture sec­tor and I am con­fi­dent this year will be no dif­fer­ent.’ IFA pres­i­dent Joe Healy en­cour­aged young farm­ers to par tic­i­pate and test their t r a i n i ng an d c a p a b i l i t i e s a g a i n s t t h e b e s t in th e coun­try.

“Based on the in­creased num­bers go­ing through the agri­cul­ture col­leges in re­cent years, we have a wealth of tal­ent in the sec­tor.

“The great thing about the Young Farmer of the Year com­pe­ti­tion is that it pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to get in­volved and it al­lows en­trants to pit their farm­ing skills and vi­sion against oth­ers.”

This year’s win­ner will fol­low in the foot­steps of Kevin Moran, a dairy farmer from Co Mayo, Michael Kenny from Co Of­faly, Mat­tie John Kelly from Roscom­mon, Kevin M o r an from Ma y o , a n d Stephen Robb from Done­gal won the sec­tor awards. Thomas Duffy from Ca­van a n d B r i a n K e e g an from Co Kil­dare were awarded ad­ju­di­ca­tor prizes.

To n o m i n a t e a y o u n g farmer or to en­ter, log onto macra.ie/young­farmer

Bal­ly­houra Macra mem­bers at the club’s an­nual barn dance and bar­be­cue in Walsh’s, Kil­dor­rery. 2016 Young Farmer of the Year Kevin Moran. IFA pres­i­dent Joe Healy en­cour­aged young farm­ers to par­tic­i­pate and test their train­ing and ca­pa­bil­i­ties against the best in the coun­try.

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