3 June 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Ballybay man Mark Duffy has been named as Ireland’s Alternative Farmer of the Year.
His achievement was marked with a cash prize at a prestigious national awards ceremony in Dublin last week.
The Zurich Farm Insurance Farming Independent Farmer of the Year Awards, now in their third year, recognise the best farmers throughout the country and reward excellence in all areas of farming.
The Farmer of the Year Awards, sponsored by Zurich Insurance, featured eight separate categories such as Dairy, Beef, Tillage and Sheep Farmer of the Year, as well as a Farm Safety Award, developed to recognise farmers who strive to apply the highest safety standards to their farming practices.
In addition, a special ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ was awarded to Ned Harty from Causeway, Co Kerry.
Speaking at the ceremony, Michael Doyle, ‎‎Head of Agri Business, Zurich General Insurance said, “With a wide range of categories, the Farmer of the Year Awards are designed to recognise the diverse accomplishments and contributions of Ireland’s farmers, and celebrate high achievers in the industry such as Mark Duffy, who has distinguished himself as the very best in the area of alternative farming.
“On behalf of Zurich, Ireland’s fastest growing farm insurer, I would like to congratulate Mark on this achievement, and the other winners of the 2016 Farmer of the Year Awards, as well as each and every one of those who were shortlisted. These Awards are a celebration of their successes and a showcase of some of the world-class work carried out by Ireland’s farming community.”
Recognised also at the Awards was local Monaghan farmer Jenny Richardson, who was named as a finalist in the Equestrian Business of the Year category for her outstanding work.
Zurich Insurance recently launched a Farm Insurance App – a state of the art risk management tool, which allows farmers to get a real time quote and receive on-the-spot cover, as well as a mobile farm branch, ensuring convenient and time-saving ways for farmers to access farming insurance.
“As one of Ireland’s leading insurers, employing over 400 people, and as Ireland’s fastest growing farm insurer, Zurich Insurance has a proven track record providing sustainable value for money insurance to farmers all over the country,” the company said this week, pointing out that they provide a range of farm insurance services including cover for property, livestock, business interruption, liability, agricultural vehicles, personal accident and farm home.
The full roll of honour for the 2016 Farmer of the Year Awards is as follows:
Dairy Farmer of the Year – Robert O’Dea, Kilteely, Co. Limerick
Beef Farmer of the Year – Tom Dunne, Durrow, Co. Laois
Tillage Farmer of the Year – Darragh Cleary, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare
Sheep Farmer of the Year – Ken & Richard Mathews, Killeagh, Co. Offaly
Equestrian Farmer of the Year – Ronan Rothwell, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow
Alternative Farmer of the Year – Mark Duffy, Ballybay, Co. Monaghan
Rising Star – Patrick Frankel, Doneraile, Co. Cork
Excellence in Farm Safety – Kieran Phelan, Co. Laois
Grand Prix – Tom Dunne, Durrow, Co. Laois
Lifetime Achievement Award – Ned Harty, Causeway, Co. Kerry

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