The 11th Farming Life Awards took place recently to recognise the talent, entrepreneurship and excellence within Northern Ireland’s agricultural community – and two businesses from the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough came home as winners!
Local entrepreneur John Dan O’Hare was honoured with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award as his business reached the 60-year mark. The prominent agricultural contractor, who hails from Annaclone on the outskirts of Banbridge, started his business with just one tractor in 1962 – and through sheer hard work has made it the world-renowned contracting business it is today.
“I was surprised to win the Lifetime Achievement Award but it has been lovely to be recognised for my lifetime’s work,” commented Mr O’Hare, who is also well known for his charity work over the years too.
The second local award went to Eringold Milk Replacers from Armagh who picked up the award for Family Business of the Year. The well-known Eringold name has played a major role on many farms throughout the UK and Ireland, helping calves to stay healthy and grow, which in turn has had so many positive knock-on effects within the agricultural industry.
“We were very excited to have been shortlisted for Family Business of the Year at the Farming Life Awards 2022 and to top off a brilliant night, we ended up winning,” said Chris Mollan from Eringold.
“It was a brilliant night of food and laughter but also great to see so many local businesses and individuals picking up awards in their categories and fantastic to see the enthusiasm and passion for the agricultural sector here in Northern Ireland.”
Given the concentration of so many high-quality agribusinesses in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, as well as a vibrant and growing base of specialist artisan food and drink producers and hospitality providers, these awards further cement the Borough’s reputation as the Food Heartland of Northern Ireland.
“What a night for these two incredibly hard-working businesses who I know put their heart and soul into growing and developing their businesses to be the best they can be,” commented the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Paul Greenfield.
“Many congratulations to both John Dan O’Hare and Eringold for these fantastic achievements that recognise and celebrate all they have to offer within the agricultural community here in Northern Ireland.”