Young Farmer of the Year 2020

Eligibility Criteria:

To enter the competition, farmers must be:

  • Under 35 years on January 1, 2020 and a member of Macra na Feirme or the IFA.
  • Involved in the running of the farm on which they currently work for at least three years, either full or part-time.
  • The applicant should hold an agricultural qualification.
  • All 2019 county winners and all past ‘Macra na Feirme FBD Young Farmer of the Year’ winners are ineligible to enter – all other entrants from last year and previous years may enter the competition.

You can apply directly for consideration or you can nominate someone for this competition.

*Applications for the 2020 Young Farmer of the Year Competition are now closed - Please email with any queries you may have*

Competition Categories:

  1. Drystock
  • Beef and Sheep Farmers
  1. Dairy
  2. Land Mobility
  • Collaborative arrangements, shared milking, contract rearing or farm manager.
  1. Other Enterprises
  • Tillage, pigs, poultry etc.

Additional Awards:

  1. Emerging Young Farmer - A farmer who is under 23 years of age.
  2. Most Climate Change Conscious Young Farmer
  3. The National Rural Network Biodiversity Award 
  4. Best Farm Manager

**These awards will be selected from semi-finalist and will be announced at the final**


  • Overall winner €3,000 travel bursary.
  • Category winners (Drystock, Dairy, Land Mobility and Other enterprise) €500 each.

Competition Dates:

  • Competition Launch: 4th August 2020
  • Applications Close: 4th September 2020
  • Automated Video Interview & Screening of applications: September
  • Semi-Final Interviews: Week of the 26th October
  • Final: 24th November


  • All applications and nominations are to be submitted directly to National Office via the online form above. Each county may have one candidate representing them for each of the four categories. If we receive an application from more than one candidate per category from any county, the application forms of thus candidates will be sent to the County Secretary. The county will then be expected to hold a county round via online video facilities eg Zoom and will be provided with a marking scheme.
  • Applications will be checked to ensure all eligibility criteria above are met.
  • If criteria are met, candidates will then be asked to complete a short-automated video-interview in September. Further information will be provided on this process upon progression. You will have one week to complete this interview. These interviews will be screened by an adjudication panel and candidates will be notified if they will/ will not progress to the semi-final stages.
  • Due to restrictions, there will be a cap on the number of those who will reach the semi-final. Candidates much reach a minimum score to be invited to a semi-final interview.
  • All county finalists will receive a certificate.

Semi-Final Interviews:

  • Semi Finalists will be invited to an interview in October.

*Please note this interview may be completing using video-conferencing facilities*

  • The interview will last approximal 30-40 minutes.

Each candidate will be judged under the following criteria:

  • Farm business initiative and innovation.
  • Knowledge of production costs and returns.
  • Vision and planning for the future farm business.
  • General agricultural, environmental protection and sustainability knowledge.
  • Involvement in the agri sector and the community.
  • Personal development initiatives.
  • Farm Safety.

Competition Final:

Please note competition final is dependent on the current Covid19 situation and government restrictions. The competition format will be subject to change and competitors will be notified of any changes

  • 24th November
  • All semi-finalists will attend and be presented with their jackets on the day of the final.
  • Six finalists will be announced on the day and they will attend their final interview.

The overall competition winner, category winners and additional awards winners will be announced at dinner that evening.

National Rural Network Biodiversity Farmer of the Year Award

Ireland’s native fauna and flora are under threat and sustainable farming methods are essential to protect, enhance and halt the decline of biodiversity in Ireland. The National Rural Network Biodiversity Farmer of the Year Award hopes to draw attention to this complex issue, by celebrating farmers who are farming in a sustainable manner by protecting and enhancing biodiversity on their farms. The award is presented by the National Rural Network (NRN) and it is part of the FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition.