The coveted title of FBD Young Farmer of the Year remains in the South-East for another year, after a Wexford man was awarded the heavily coveted prize last week.
Paul Kehoe from Gorey was named this year’s winner at a ceremony which was attended by the Irish agriculture industry’s main movers at the Tower Hotel on Tuesday last, August 31st.
While reigning champion William Keane from Ardmore relinquished his crown, Paul Kehoe’s victory ensures that the esteemed title remains close to Waterford.
Organised by Macra na Feirme with the sponsorship of FBD, the competition is open to young farmers between the ages of 17 and 35.
The award, now in its 12th year, is presented to a farmer who excels in the areas of farm business initiative and innovation, farm efficiency, enterprise quality, farm safety, environmental awareness, agricultural knowledge and community involvement.
Considered one of the most significant events in the farming calendar, the stiff competition for the title was clearly evident from all those gathered at the Tower Hotel.
Certainly, farming in Ireland looks set for a secure future judging by the enthusiastic and ambitious young farmers who were present at the event.
Paul Kehoe proved a hugely popular recipient of the award, with his declaration as winner receiving huge cheers and rapturous applause.
Nationwide county rounds of the competition took place throughout the summer, with the original 40 entrants whittled down to 21 prospective candidates for the two day event in Waterford which was held last Monday and Tuesday.
All the 21 candidates participated in a farm walk at the home of the 2009 champion William Keane in Ardmore while in Waterford.
They each underwent an intensive interview at the Tower Hotel on Monday, with the number of finalists cut to six by Tuesday afternoon.
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