A Ballycastle farmer was last night named as the first National Rural Network Biodiversity Farmer of the Year at the FBD Young Farmer of the Year Awards at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin.

The National Rural Network Biodiversity Farmer of the Year Award recognises a farmer who is farming in a sustainable manner by encouraging biodiversity and protecting the environment.

Raymond Langan was chosen as the winner for his unwavering enthusiasm for protecting the environment. He farms tough terrain close to the coastline in Co. Mayo, where - working with other farmers - he part farms some 59 hectares of commonage, as well as 45 breeding ewes and their followers on an additional 24 acres, half of which is low-input permanent pasture and traditional hay meadow, actions in the GLAS scheme. The judges were very impressed by his limited amount of dosing & antibiotics use. Raymond has also expressed a keen interest in beekeeping and he is taking steps to establish hives on his land by next spring.

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