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The Venue

20 January 2020

2020 RDS Spring Awards Open for Entries

  • Awards highlight rural enterprise & innovation
  • Sustainability category reflects RDS goal of seeing a thriving rural Ireland

Building on a name from the past, but firmly focused on the future of the rural Ireland, the RDS Spring Awards wish to recognise the very best farmers, foresters, agri-entrepreneurs and innovators from around the country. With a closing date of February 7 fast approaching, the RDS is calling on potential applicants to enter now for their chance to share in the €23,000 prize fund.


In addition to the established livestock and forestry awards, the RDS last year introduced a new Sustainability Awards category that celebrates the work of individuals, farm families and organisations who are enhancing the economic, environmental and social development of Irish agriculture and rural communities.


There are three prizes under this category:

  • Sustainable Farming
  • Sustainable Rural Enterprise
  • Sustainable Rural Innovation


In addition to receiving a specially commissioned trophy the winner in each category will receive a cheque for €2,000 from the RDS, with a runner-up in each category receiving €1,000.


Michael Duffy, Chief Executive of the RDS commented on the new emphasis of the awards. “Everyone is now much more aware of our collective and individual responsibilities towards creating a sustainable future. In rural Ireland there are excellent examples of putting sustainability principles into practice; examples that deserve to be highlighted and learned from, which is want we want to achieve through these awards. I would encourage anyone who has taken steps in to make their farm or rural enterprise more sustainable to put themselves forward and join us this Spring.”


All those shortlisted will be invited to the 2020 RDS Spring Awards Lunch, which will take place in the RDS Concert Hall, Ballsbridge on Tuesday, April 14, where this year’s winners will be announced.


Speaking about the history and occasion of the event, Michael Duffy went on to say: “The Spring Awards evoke so many fond memories of the Spring Show for many people, and we see this event as building upon that legacy. The lunch itself is a gathering of innovative practitioners from across the farming, forestry and rural enterprise sectors, all of whom have a vital part to play in maintaining a vibrant rural Ireland.”


Application forms are available at www.rds.ie/springawards, by contacting agriculture@rds.ie or 01 240 7215




2020 RDS Spring Awards Categories


Sustainable Farming Sustainable Living Awards

Sustainable Farming: This award celebrates the efforts made by an individual or farm family who are sustainably developing their on-farm activities through entrepreneurship, new product development, marketing, and improved efficiencies.


2019 Sustainable Farming Winner: Ailbhe Gerard, Brookfield Farm, Co. Tipperary


Sustainable Rural Enterprise: This award recognises individuals and organisations who are making a significant contribution to the economic, environmental, and social development, of rural Ireland.


2019 Sustainable Rural Enterprise Winner: Leahy’s Open Farm, Co. Cork


Sustainable Rural Innovation Award: This award recognises individuals and organisations who have applied science and technology to help deliver the principles of climate-smart agriculture such as greater efficiency, reduced waste and increased profitability.


2019 Sustainable Rural Innovation Winner: Smart Farming Programme, the Irish Farmers Association


Livestock Awards

  • Economic Breeding Index (EBI) Award - Best Dairy Cow
  • Euro-Star Replacement Index Award - Best Beef Cow
  • Dairy Herd Index Award
  • Beef Herd Index Award
  • LambPlus Breeders Index Award


Nominations for these Awards are received from ICBF and Sheep Ireland


The RDS-Forest Service Irish Forest and Woodland Award

  • Production Forestry
  • Teagasc Farm Forestry Award
  • Community Woodlands


The 2020 forestry categories are closed for entry. The award winners will be announced at the Spring Awards event. The 2021 call for entries will be launched in May 2020.


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