Aoife Smith of the National Rural Network with Macra na Feirme National President, John Keane, at the 2021 FBD Young Farmer of the Year launch.

Search is on for Biodiversity Young Farmer of the Year

The National Rural Network (NRN) has begun its annual search for the next Biodiversity Young Farmer of the Year. The award, which is part of the FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition in association with Macra na Feirme and IFA, hopes to draw attention to the importance of biodiversity, by celebrating young farmers who are farming in a sustainable manner by protecting and enhancing biodiversity on their farms.

Commenting on the launch of this year’s awards, Seamus Boland, Project Director of the NRN said: “Ireland’s landscape and associated biodiversity are shaped by agricultural activities. Native fauna and flora are under pressure and sustainable farming methods are essential to protect, enhance and halt the decline of biodiversity in Ireland. It is important to acknowledge that farmers are taking action at farm-level to protect and conserve habitats and wildlife on farms as well as farming more efficiently.”

Raymond Langan, a sheep farmer from Co Mayo, won the inaugural National Rural Network Biodiversity Farmer of the Year Award in 2018, Alan Doyle, a drystock farmer from Co Kilkenny, won the award in 2019 and Joe Melody, a dairy farmer from Co Clare won the award in 2020.

A shortlist will be drawn up from the entries for FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition, and the winner will be announced at awards ceremony in December

Entries for FBD Young Farmer of the Year competition is now open at For more information on biodiversity in agriculture, visit