Judges & Judging | Agribusiness Awards
The Agribusiness Awards 2016
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Judges & Judging

An independent panel of recognised and expert judges, representing Ireland's agribusiness industry, will determine the winners of the Agribusiness Awards.

Our focus is to deliver a balanced judging assessment from industry leaders who will bring their extensive knowledge, enthusiasm and expertise to the judging process ensuring that the winning entries are truly outstanding and worthy of receiving an Agribusiness Award.

The panel is carefully selected to ensure the Awards judging process is fair and objective. The judges are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement and are required to declare any conflict of interest in entries over which they deliberate, in which case that entry will be reallocated. The integrity of this process lies at the very heart of all that we do.

We recognise and respect the sensitive nature of the information submitted in the entries. Submissions are not disclosed or discussed outside the judging process. We do not publish the names of companies, organisations or individuals that have not been shortlisted for an Award, nor will we reproduce any information from your entry unless prior permission is given.

A comprehensive judging process has been put together to decide the worthy winners of The Agribusiness Awards:

Judging Process

  1. After the submissions have been received, all entries will be sent for the first round of review.
  2. Entries will be carefully scrutinised with the best selected to go forward to the shortlist for each category.
  3. The shortlist of finalists will be published on the Awards website.
  4. Judges are divided into a minimum of two panels, ensuring any potential conflict is avoided.
  5. The judges will score each of the entries allocated to them against a predetermined set of scores.
  6. Scores are then collected and collated, with the entrant receiving the highest overall score being declared the winner of that category.
  7. The winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony. The judge's decision is final and no correspondence, telephone, email or communication of any kind will be entered into in relation to decisions reached.

2017 Judging Panel

The Agribusiness Awardswinners will be decided by a leading panel of industry experts.

Judging Co-ordinator

Dr. Karina Pierce - Lecturer, School of Agriculture and Food Science, UCD

Karina Pierce - Lecturer, School of Agriculture and Food Science, UCD

Karina Pierce is a lecturer in dairy production in UCD and is coordinator of the UCD/Teagasc degree programme in dairy business, and of the professional diploma in dairy farm management. She graduated with a BAgrSc in 2001 and completed her PhD in animal nutrition in 2005. She worked as a nutritionist with Brett Brothers in Kilkenny for two years before returning to UCD. Karina is a member of the Board of Teagasc and chairs the Teagasc research committee. She was President of the Agricultural Science Association in 2011/12.

Judging Panel

Karen Brosnan - Management Consultant

Karen Brosnan - Management Consultant, Appian Point

Karen has worked as a consultant, facilitator, trainer and executive coach in the public and private sectors since 2000. She is a Director of Nuffield Ireland and John Scottus Educational Trust. She is a Board member of Gurteen college. She works nationally and internationally facilitating strategic reviews/plans. She works with Boards and executives to plan for organisational change, implement leadership development initiatives and facilitate culture change.

Philip O'Connor - Agri Support Manager, IFAC

Philip O'Connor - Agri Support Manager, IFAC

Philip joined IFAC’s area development team in 2005 having spent a number of years as an agricultural consultant with Southwestern Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from the University of Aberystwyth (Wales) and a Master of Business from the University of Limerick. Philip has been key to the development and delivery of IFAC’s Limited Company Turnkey Package, and the development of IFAC’s management accounting and profit monitor services. Having successfully combined his area development and agricultural development portfolios for a number of years, Philip will now focus solely on helping IFAC’s members and clients achieve their farming goals. A keen rugby supporter, dairy farmer’s son and family man, Philip is a native of Cashel, Co. Tipperary.

Kieran Comerford - Head of Enterprise, Carlow County Council – Local Enterprise Office

Kieran Comerford - Head of Enterprise, Carlow County Council – Local Enterprise Office 

Kieran is Head of Enterprise in the Local Enterprise Office Carlow, having worked as CEO of Carlow County Enterprise Board previously. Kieran has worked in a variety of roles from retailing, banking, and information technology and in the training sector during his career and has worked in the Enterprise Development sector since 2002. Since then, he has acted as an advisor & mentor to hundreds of start-up and developing companies and has rolled out a variety of unique business support and enterprise promotion events and projects. He has a particular focus on support development, strategic planning and business growth. His work has included a variety of projects at local, national and international level.

Ray Doyle - Livestock and Environmental Services Director, Irish Co-operative Organisation Society

 Ray Doyle - Livestock and Environmental Services Director, Irish Co-operative Organisation Society

Ray has worked with several successful Irish food and agribusiness companies continually enhancing his career from senior sales to general management roles. Ray has worked with the Irish Co Operative Organisation Society (ICOS) for almost 10 years since 2007 as director of livestock and environmental services. In this role he represents the livestock marts sector and environmental, animal health, veterinary medicines and animal welfare at national and EU level. He currently is a member of the EU’s new animal welfare platform. He has effected numerous changes in veterinary medicines and disease control initiatives for the Irish dairy processing Co Ops. Prior to assuming his position as director of livestock and environmental services with ICOS he has held a number of senior positions within major Irish companies. He spent 5 years as eastern region sales manager for IAWS (now CAHL) marketing mineral and vitamin supplements to the Irish animal feed trade. Ray then headed up Greencore’s  animal feed commodity trading desk where he lead a team of personnel responsible for the importation and resale of animal feed ingredients. From Greencore he decided to move to the farmer representation organisation, the Irish Cattle and Sheep farmers association (ICSA) where he successfully transformed the organisation from a small niche lobbying organisation into a national one. Ray then decided to pursue his passion for flying light aircraft into a career and successfully completed his commercial pilots licence in Oxford Aviation Academy (CAE) in Oxford. However, the resultant slump in demand for pilot’s post 9/11 meant Ray could not pursue this avenue as an immediate career and instead became general manager with Nitrofert and Galavan supplements where he was responsible for trading imported Russian fertiliser and animal feed ingredients.

Eileen Gibney - Associate Professor, Nutrition

Eileen Gibney - Lecturer, Nutrition and Genetics, UCD

Eileen Gibney (BSc, PhD, MSc) has worked in the area of human nutrition since 1997. Graduating with a degree in human nutrition from the University of Ulster at Coleraine, she then obtained her PhD from the Dunn Nutrition Unit, University of Cambridge in 2001. She went on to complete an MSc in Molecular Medicine (TCD) in 2003. Eileen held post-doctoral positions at the University of Newcastle and Trinity College Dublin, before joining UCD as Lecturer in Nutrition in 2005. Her current research interests lie in the area of personalised nutrition, where she develops strategies for personalised dietary and lifestyle feedback based on dietary, phenotypic and genetic information of the individual. Her work is focused on the interface of molecular and public health nutrition, taking basic knowledge of genetic and phenotypic variation in response to dietary intervention and developing technologies to apply such knowledge into successful public health nutrition and lifestyle strategies. She has a significant interest in the development of novel online technologies to accurately capture dietary intake. She has successfully obtained over 2.3M Euro direct funding research, leading several projects and collaborating on both national and European grants, such as the food4me project, a 9M Euro FP7 project involving an international consortium of researchers researching aspects of personalised nutrition. She is a key member of the UCD Institute of Food and Health and a member of the academic staff for BSc Human Nutrition. She is Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning within the School of Agriculture and Food Science. In addition Eileen is a Director of the Irish Association for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (IrSPEN) and sits on the Public Health Nutrition sub Committee in the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

Mike Brady - MD, Brady Group Agricultural Consultants & Land Agent

Mike Brady - MD, Brady Group Agricultural Consultants & Land Agent

Mike is a well-established agricultural consultant and land agent advising farmers across the Republic of Ireland. He qualified from UCD in 1987 with a BAgrSc(hons) and commenced his career as a Dairy Husbandry Advisor with the then Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food in the UK. He returned to Ireland in 1989 to work with a private firm and left to established Brady Group in 1995. He completed a Nuffield Scholarship in 2004, where he studied advisory services in France, Australia and New Zealand. Michael is also a past President of the Agricultural Consultants Association of Ireland.

Deirdre O’Shea - Executive Director, Agri Aware

 Deirdre O’Shea - Executive Director, Agri Aware

Ms O’Shea graduated with an Honours Batchelor of Science Degree in Human Nutrition from University College Dublin.

Having previously worked with the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), her key roles included Executive to the National Pigmeat and Forestry Committees. Prior to this Deirdre worked as an Agri Business Development Manager with Ulster Bank.

Deirdre is passionate about farming and the Agri industry. This stems from her involvement and development of the family pig farming business.

Deirdre frequently published sector articles in the Irish Farmers Journal. She also published scientific paper on the effects of probiotics of the gut microflora of male volunteers as well as a final year thesis relating to children’s nutrition.

Deirdre joined Agri Aware as Executive Director in November 2016. Agri Aware is the independent Irish agri-food educational body, which is funded by the Irish agri-food industry.

Breian Carroll - Managing Director & Senior Agronomist, Carroll Consultancy

Breian Carroll - Managing Director & Senior Agronomist, Carroll Consultancy

Breian Carroll is the Managing Director and Senior Agronomist of Carroll Consultancy. He established the business in 2001 which specialises in agricultural and business consultancy, leadership training and agri-business development. He has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from UCD, Certificate in Auctioneering and Estate Agency from AIT and finalised a Master’s in Business Practice with the IMI during 2017.

He was elected the youngest President of the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) in July 2007 for a three year period and acted as General Secretary of ACA from 2010 to 2012.

He is a past board member of the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee with the Health and Safety Authority and is a current member of the Skillnets Funding Steering Committee with the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME).

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