Who can make a nomination?
Under the guidance of our Executive Committee, we have compiled a set list of nominators who will be invited to nominate a certain number of farmers for the Farming for Nature Ambassador Awards for the next 5-year period (2024-2028). See below our list of nominating bodies – we have carefully compiled this list of State bodies, NGO’s, academic bodies, media organisations and members of the farming community – ensuring we will receive a broad and diverse range of nominations for the awards every year.
- Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
- National Parks and Wildlife Services
- Local Authorities
- LEADER rural development
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Inland Fisheries
- Heritage Council
- National Biodiversity Data Centre
- Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO)
- Bord Bia
- National Organic Training Skillnet
- Birdwatch Ireland
- Leitrim Organic Co-Op
- BASE Ireland
- Organic Growers of Ireland
- Organic Trust
- Irish Organic Association
- Irish Wildlife Trust
- Bat Conservation Ireland
- Mountaineering Ireland
- Agricultural Consultants Association
- An Taisce
- Irish Agroforestry Forum
- ACRES CP Teams
- Waters of Life
- Wild Atlantic Nature
- Macra na Feirme
- Irish Farmers Association
- Irish Natura Hill Farmers Association
- Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association
- Irish Countrywomen’s Association
- Irish Farmers Journal
- Farming Independent
- Irish Examiner
- Ear to the Ground
- Farming for Nature Ambassadors
How do I nominate a farmer for the award?
We are no longer accepting nominations from people/organisations who are not listed here. However, if you would like to recommend a farmer to anyone on the nominator list (for example a local NPWS ranger or a farm advisor) you are welcome to do so, and they may consider nominating a farmer based on your recommendation.
What attributes should a nominated farmer have?
The Ambassador Awards are suitable for farmers who:
- Have made a significant contribution to the protection or enhancement of nature on their farm and/or in their locality.
- Are farming in a manner that is agriculturally, ecologically, economically and socially progressive.
- Are relatable to our target audience of Irish farmers.
- Have shared their passion with others (e.g. through walks, talks, local media etc.)
- Have a record of positive engagement with other stakeholders.
- Nominations are open to individual farmers, couples, or farm families.
What happens once the nomination has been submitted?
- Every farmer who is nominated for the Awards will be contacted by the FFN team to congratulate them on their nomination and determine whether they are happy to accept the nomination and proceed with the judging process. Each nominee will receive a prize of some sort in recognition of their nomination.
- If they agree to the above, every nominated farmer will take part in a phone interview with a member of the FFN team. This will give us the opportunity to learn more about the farmer, their farming system, and their work for nature. We will put a written overview summary of each nominee on our website along with some photos highlighting the work being done on their farm.
- The FFN programme officer and one other appointed judge will both visit each nominated farm in Summer months. They will collect relevant farm info/feedback, score each farm along various pre-agreed criteria and carry out a comparative assessment between all of the nominees.
- Following the farm visits, a judges meeting will be held with the wider judging panel and the FFN officer will present an overview and feedback on each nominee. The FFN judges and team will collectively decide upon 12 new Ambassadors to take on board.
- These farmers will be invited to come on board as Farming for Nature Ambassadors.
- Each of these Ambassadors will have a farm video made showing their farms and their work for nature on the land.
- The new Ambassadors will be announced and officially welcomed to the FFN Ambassador network at our annual FFN Gathering and Awards Ceremony which will take place as part of the Burren Winterage Weekend in October of every year.
- The new Ambassadors will be featured on a monthly basis from November onwards – their stories will be shared in the form of podcasts, online farmer Q&A’s, farm walks and social media posts.
Who will be on the Judging Panel?
The assessment panel includes a selection of individuals from the environmental, agricultural and community sector, reflecting the importance of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable farming. See here who is on the panel.
What we ask of our Ambassadors is that they should:
- Continue to work in protecting and enhancing nature on the farm and/or in their locality
- Share their knowledge and passion for nature with others
- Promote and support the ‘Farming for Nature’ initiative and network
- Share their knowledge with us, and with others, on how best to farm for nature
- Join us for at least one networking event every year
- Inform us if situations arise which may lead to their FFN ambassadorship being compromised
- Remain an active ambassador for the next 5 years
In addition, as an FFN Ambassador we would be really grateful if they might also consider:
- Holding a farm walk and/or a webinar once a year for other farmers or interested parties to learn first-hand what work has done on their farm for nature.
- Representing FFN at educational events if relevance – conferences, open days, ploughing championships etc.
- Sharing their story with the media, locally and nationally, to help inspire other farmers and members of the public.
- Advising other interested farmers who may want to learn from them about their farming system.
- Supporting the FFN team with requests for information, for example on best practice, on research needs and on agri-environment policy.
- Nominating other farmers their know to be considered for future FFN ambassadors.
Who are the ambassadors to date?
Please go here to see our list of Farming For Nature Ambassadors since 2018. These farmers are all committed to being ambassadors for the initiative for the next 5 years.
Who funds these Awards?
The Awards are supported by our core funders the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. We are grateful for the support of Bord Bia for these Awards between 2018-23.
Thank you to our funders, past and present, for making these Awards possible.
Who is ‘behind’ this?
Clare-based charity the Burrenbeo Trust are the parent organisation to the Farming for Nature project.
The Farming for Nature initiative was developed by a small group of enthusiasts based in and around the Burren region in Co. Clare and Co. Galway. It is a genuine attempt to try to encourage a more positive working relationship between our farming systems and the natural environment on which they depend.
More information on the Vision and Goals of Farming for Nature and the team behind it can be found here.
Why are we doing this?
There is widespread awareness of the environmental damage that can be caused by the wrong type of farming. We hear about it all the time and no doubt about it, there are really serious problems to be addressed, and urgently. There isn’t as much discussion of those that are doing a great job farming for nature, about the positive stories, meaning we don’t have many good role models. This negative narrative can alienate farmers from nature, making them feel apart from it rather than part of it. Encouraging farmers to feel that they are part of the solution, not just the problem, is the first step in a long journey which will require a lot of financial and technical support, new partnerships and new visions. This can hopefully be the start.
“TO CHANGE THE WORLD, LET’S START BY CHANGING THE WAY WE TALK ABOUT IT, AND LET’S HIGHLIGHT THOSE INITIATIVES THAT ARE HAVING A POSITIVE IMPACT ON PEOPLE AND THE PLANET, TO RENEW OUR CONFIDENCE AND SPUR US INTO ACTION.”