Voting is now closed for the Farming For Nature Awards 2021.
Below are our 2021 Farming For Nature Ambassadors that were up for the public vote.
The annual Farming For Nature Ambassador Awards are supported by Bord Bia.
Gerard Deegan is a lifelong farmer from Co. Westmeath. Originally a dairy farmer, Gerard transitioned to a mixed beef and forestry enterprise back in 2012. There is now 100 acres of forestry on the land – 50% hardwood and 50% softwood. An advocate for diverse forestry systems, Gerard has planted approximately 60 different species of trees on the farm. He also runs a small suckler herd producing organic beef. Gerard is involved in Social Farming and a member of Leitrim Organic Farmers Coop since 1990.
Paul Moore runs a tillage and beef farm near Middleton county Cork. The mixed 140-acre farm is comprised of 95 acres of tillage and the remaining 45 acres is mature grassland and is used to produce 35 beef cattle. A wildlife and bird enthusiast all his life, Paul is passionate about nature conservation and managing habitats on his farm. Over the years he has planted trees on the land, managed hedgerows for birds, incorporated wildflower margins around field boundaries and increased the nature corridors where possible on the farm.
Norman Dunne along with his father Michael Dunne, run a 400-acre tillage farm outside Maynooth, Co. Kildare. After moving away from an intensive tillage system a few years ago, these farmers have been focusing on regenerating soil biology and reducing external inputs where possible on the farm. They now operate min-till system, using multi-species cover crops, crop rotations and biodynamic seed preparations. Since the reintroduction of regenerative farming methods on the land, there has been a significant increase in biodiversity and a return of numerous bird species to the farm.
Noel Kiernan farms 250 acres of mixed land and habitat – there is forestry, marsh, bogland, pasture and hay meadows. A naturalist his entire life, Noel is passionate about conservation in all forms – from native flora and fauna, to native Irish livestock breeds. Noel is a forester as well as a farmer and he is passionate about combining forestry and farming, as he believes these practices can be mutually beneficial when managed sustainably. There is 100 acres of native broadleaf forestry on the land.
Anthony Mooney from county Kildare runs a 200-acre beef farm with the help of his wife Mary Rose and son Conor. He runs a herd of between 100-120 cross-bred continental cattle. Anthony is passionate about biodiversity and nature conservation and this is reflected in his low-input farming system. Ponds, meadows, woodland and hedgerows are all important habitats on the farm.
Cathal Mooney of Heather Hill Farm is a regenerative farmer located in Donegal. He takes a holistic approach to farming, focusing on ecological, social and economic goals. Heather Hill Farm produce pasture raised turkey, pasture raised chicken, pasture raised eggs, wildflower honey and grass-fed lamb. Cathal runs a Holistic Planned Grazing System for the stock and has implemented a silvopasture system on the land where fruit trees, nut trees and berry bushes have been planted throughout the grassland.