Who can make a nomination?
In excess of 100 ‘recognised professionals’ in the area of ‘farmland biodiversity’ across Ireland will be invited to nominate a farmer who they feel is worthy of recognition/acknowledgement for their work in supporting nature on their farm and in their community. Nominations will be sought from relevant individuals, including (but not limited to) those working within the following organisations: National Parks and Wildlife Service (e.g. Field and Research Staff), The Heritage Council (e.g. Heritage Officers), Research organisations (e.g. Teagasc, Third level colleges, NBDC), EIP, EU LIFE, INTERREG and other relevant Projects in the ROI, The DAFM, The Environmental Pillar and other National Networks.
If you would like to be included in our nominators list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a farmer that would like to be nominated contact your local farm advisor (Teagasc), your county’s Heritage Officer (County Council) or your local wildlife ranger (NPWS) to visit the farm and make the nomination on your behalf.
These awards are being organised on a mainly voluntary basis in order to share more positive and inspiring stories around farming and nature. We hope to further develop our nomination, screening and awards processes in future years based on our experience with this year’s event.
How do I nominate a farmer for the award?
If you are contacted and invited to make a nomination, you can either fill in the online application form by clicking here or if you would prefer you can download an application here either email it in to email@example.com or send it by post by the 10th August, 2018 to Farming for Nature, Burrenbeo Trust, Glebe House, Kinvara, Co.Galway. Please ask for the farmer’s permission beforehand making a nomination.
If you aren’t on our nominators list but would like to be, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if there is someone you feel that should be nominated you could also suggest to your local NPWS ranger or Heritage Officer that this person deserves to be nominated – if not this year, then in future years.
It is free to enter and to be involved in these awards.
Who is to be nominated?
The awards are 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, economically and socially progressive.
- Have shared their passion with others (eg through walks, local media etc).
- Have a record of engagement with other stakeholders.
- Are an Origin Green member through participation in the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) or the Sustainable Beef & Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS)
What happens once the nomination has been submitted?
- Once this nomination is received, the farmer will be contacted by the team and assessed. Then a short description of the farm with photos will be put up online.
- Their farm advisor will also be contacted by the team.
- The selection process will shortlist to 10 farms.
- A judging panel will meet to assess the 10 selected farms.
- These will then be further shortlisted to 5 farms and a short film created on each.
- There will then be an online voting system for the awards based on these shortlisted farms so the public can view the films and get voting.
- The finalist will be announced at an awards ceremony on the October bank holiday as part of the Burren Winterage School in the Burren.
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 farming sustainably.
What is the Award?
- There will be a cash prize Winner and runners up.
- All 5 shortlisted farmers will receive an invitation to the awards ceremony (incl. dinner, B&B)
- All 5 farmers will have a five-minute video made about their farm which they can use as they wish.
- All 5 shortlisted farmers will become Farming for Nature Ambassadors
Who has funded this initiative?
Most of the work for this initiative is being done on a voluntary basis. However, we are very grateful to our key sponsor, Bord Bia for supporting this initiative which is split three ways: on awards, communications and co-ordination. This includes the cost of the awards night and awards, the cost of making short films, website etc, and the cost of the day to day co-ordination of the initiative. No profit is generated from this event. The National Rural Network have also contributed a small fund towards coordination.
Who is ‘behind’ this?
This initiative is simply a genuine attempt by a few people to try to encourage a more positive working relationship between our farming systems and the natural environment on which they depend. Brendan, Brigid, James, Michael – and too many others to mention – have worked together in the Burren for many years and are passionate about farming for conservation. As organisers of the Burren Winterage School and Farming Awards we felt that there were so many great stories out there that should be told, so many great farmers that should be acknowledged, we decided to try to do something about it. So we approached Bord Bia who had sponsored the ‘Farming for Conservation’ awards in the Burren previously, and they very kindly agreed to help with this National initiative. Any other organisation we approached – NPWS, DAFM, Teagasc etc – have all willingly come on board to support, for example in helping with nominations.
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. 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.