Winners of NI farming for climate change competition announced

The winners of a new competition to encourage young farmers to share their most innovative ideas to address climate change have been announced.

The competition was run by the Ulster Farmers’ Union and Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, with the judging panel praising the quality of video entries received.

Allister Crawford was named the winner of the Under 18 category, Trent Brown took first place in the 18-40 group and highly commended was awarded to Jessica Pollock.

The judging panel consisted of Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots; chief executive of Northern Ireland Environment Link Craig McGuicken; UFU president Victor Chestnutt; and YFCU president Zita McNaugher.

UFU president Victor Chestnutt said: “We were extremely pleased with the standard of videos we received for both categories and the judges’ scoring was extremely close creating very slim margins for the winning positions.

Our farmers often shy away from sharing their own stories and the aim was to encourage members to show what they are doing or what they would like to do on their farm to tackle climate change in relation to greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our farmers are at the mercy of the weather and are already coping with a changing climate and extreme weather events including droughts.

“It is in their best interest to take action to address the shift in the earth’s climate system which is what they are already doing in various ways.

“Mitigating emissions remains a huge challenge for the industry going forward but it is great to see how farmers are embracing this.

“The video entries are a testament to the great work farmers are doing and the ways in which they want to develop their farm businesses to benefit the environment and consumers.”

‘Part of the climate change solution’

YFCU president Zita McNaugher said: “The entries we received are a great representation of how farmers are a vital part of the climate change solution.

“Our members clearly demonstrated how invested and committed they are to addressing climate change.

I was particularly impressed by our Under 18 category. Our young farmers are the future of the industry.

“It is extremely encouraging and positive to see how they are reducing emissions and of their plans to develop their farm in this area going forward.”