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19 May 2022

Young Offaly woman is Teagasc 'Dairy Student Farmer of the Year'

Young Offaly woman is Teagasc 'Dairy Student Farmer of the Year'

Maria, pictured bottom right, was recognised by Teagasc

An Offaly farmer has been recognised as the Teagasc/FBD Student Dairy Farmer of the Year.

The awards were presented by Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Dublin on Thursday, April 21, 2022. 

Dave Moloney from County Cork was named overall 2021 Teagasc/FBD Student of the Year. Maria Keane, from County Offaly who completed the Specific Purpose Certificate in Farming at Gurteen Agricultural College, was presented with the Dairy Student Category Award. 

Dave Moloney completed the Level 6 Specific Purpose Certificate in Farming in the Teagasc education centre in Macroom. He is very involved in the operation and running of the home farm, which has a beef system and is currently developing the animal housing and machinery aspects of the farm. Dave Moloney received the Drystock Student Category Award, before being named as the Overall Teagasc/FBD Student of the year. 

Dominic White, from County Limerick, studied for the level 6 Advanced certificate in Equine Breeding - Stud Management in Kildalton College, and received the Land based Enterprises Category Award. 

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, congratulated all of the 18 finalists: “Having young, dynamic, enthused and, most importantly, educated farmers is critical for Irish agriculture to continue to grow and to prosper. I am very pleased to be speaking with you this morning for this very important event in the education calendar, the presentation of the Teagasc 2021 Student of the Year Awards sponsored by FBD.

"I would congratulate all of the finalists on their brilliant achievement. It is a proud day for them and their families to be recognised for their education achievements. This is a dynamic and exciting sector and it is a vital part of our balanced economy and the farmers graduating today will lead us through the next generation of sustainable growth.”

The other finalists in the competition were:

Sean Og McCormack, Dunsany, Co Meath

Brennus Voarino, Cape Clear Island, Skibbereen, Co Cork

Jack Hickey, Freshford, Co. Kilkenny

Cliona Beirne, Carrick on Shannon, Co Roscommon

Tommy Dillane, Ardagh, Co Limerick

Liam Higgins, Watergrasshill, Co Cork

Donal O'Sullivan, Killarney, Co. Kerry

Ronan McKenna, Trim, Co Meath.

John Hughes, Shrule, Co Mayo

Rachel Irwin, Calry, Sligo

Rachelle Kennedy, Thurles, Co Tipperary

April Fitzpatrick, Dunlavin, Co Wicklow 

Francis Hewitson, Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Peter Kelleher, Kilkerley, Dundalk, Co Louth

Philip Shortall, Ballyouskill, Attanagh, Co Laois

The awards sponsored by FBD are being made to the top graduates of Teagasc Level 6 agricultural training programmes in 2021.

Tomás O Midheach, Chief Executive of FBD Insurance said; ”FBD Insurance plc is committed to supporting each generation of Irish farmers and is pleased to sponsor the 2022 Teagasc / FBD Student of the Year awards. These finalists are wonderful representatives for Irish agriculture and as such, we can be sure that the future of Irish Farming is safe in their hands. On behalf of everyone at FBD, I would like to congratulate the finalists on their achievements and wish them all the very best in their future farming careers.”

Liam Herlihy, Chairman of Teagasc said: “In 2021 over 3,500 students successfully completed training with Teagasc and were awarded a QQI certificate from across our colleges and regional education centres.   The 18 students recognised through these awards will be the leaders in Irish agriculture in the future. I wish them well in their careers. I would also like to acknowledge the support of FBD Insurance, who have sponsored the Student of the Year Awards since their inception over three decades ago.”

To learn more about the winner and the other finalists visit: https://www.teagasc.ie/ education/going-to-college/ student-of-the-year/

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