Winners of Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition receive awards

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
An important feature of the Ulster Grassland Society’s Annual Conference is the presentation of awards in the ‘Grassland Farmer of the Year’ competition which was again generously sponsored by Danske Bank.

This year’s conference took place virtually with the winners announced online so the Society recently hosted a press lunch to hand over the awards to the various winners.

The event was held at the Dunadry Hotel, Templepatrick and hosted by UGS President Harold Johnston who welcomed the winners, competition judges, Society officials and representatives of Danske Bank who again sponsored the competition.

Once again the competition was very high and included entries from all over Northern Ireland with first round judging undertaken by Jim Freeburn and Norbury Royle last Autumn. The final round judging then saw seven finalists visited by UGS President Harold Johnston, Ian McCluggage and Competition Secretary Debbie McConnell.

Winners, judges and sponsors who attended the Ulster Grassland Society Grassland Farmer of the Year competition awards event in the Dunadry Hotel recentlyWinners, judges and sponsors who attended the Ulster Grassland Society Grassland Farmer of the Year competition awards event in the Dunadry Hotel recently
Winners, judges and sponsors who attended the Ulster Grassland Society Grassland Farmer of the Year competition awards event in the Dunadry Hotel recently

The winners in the Grassland Farmer of the Year competition were as follows:

Overall Winner - Grassland Farmer of the Year John & Claire Beckett, Donaghcloney, Co Down

Runners Up - Gordon Mitchell & family, Banbridge, Co Down and John Milligan, Castlewellan, Co Down

Special Commendations - Jonny Hutchinson, Tobermore, Co Londonderry and Dale Orr, Downpatrick, Co Down

British Grassland Society President Drew McConnell presenting the BGS Cup to Harold Johnston marking their success in last years UGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competitionBritish Grassland Society President Drew McConnell presenting the BGS Cup to Harold Johnston marking their success in last years UGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition
British Grassland Society President Drew McConnell presenting the BGS Cup to Harold Johnston marking their success in last years UGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition

BGS Regional Cup - Harold Johnston & Sons, Ahoghill, Co Antrim

The judges complemented all of the winners on their dedication to grassland farming and ability to maximise production from grass. Each of the finalists were focused on attention to detail to ensure their farm was performing to it’s optimum despite the vagaries of the weather and local conditions during 2021

Commenting specifically on the winning farm they commented: “The Beckett’s demonstrated good measurement and utilisation of grass and silage with 16T DM/Ha produced from the grazing platform in 2021. Cows were managed in three groups with Milk from Forage of over 3,000 litres being achieved and grass allocated using an App and pre-mowed to maintain grass quality.”

The various awards in the competition were handed over by Rodney Brown, Head of Agribusiness, Danske Bank, along with colleagues Carol McMullan and Geoffrey Wilson, with the bank again generously sponsoring the awards.

Society President Harold Johnston congratulated all the winners and thanked Danske Bank for their continued sponsorship of this important competition in the UGS calendar.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.