Sheep farming is an important indigenous industry in Ireland that is worth more than €250 million each year to the economy. Through this Award the RDS, in collaboration with Macra na Feirme and the Irish Farmers Journal, acknowledges the importance of this industry.
The goal of the RDS Foundation Agriculture and Rural Affairs programme is to promote best practice and efficiency in farming to ensure farm household profitability and sustainability in Ireland.
The RDS Allotment Awards aim to recognise the hard work, dedication and attention to detail that is being undertaken by those involved in allotment gardening and also to promote an area that encourages people to become more aware of rural issues.
The RDS Irish Forestry Awards promote standards of excellence in the production of native forests and trees. The Awards continue the historic involvement of the RDS in the development of Irish forestry which saw over 55 million trees planted in Ireland from 1766 - 1806 through the Society's land improvement and afforestation projects.
The RDS and Teagasc collaborate on the Walsh Research Fellowship to encourage high calibre graduates to stay in Ireland and pursue their research interests. The Walsh Research Fellows undertake a broad spectrum of research including food processing, animal and crop production, soils and environment, agri-food economics and rural development.
The RDS and Teagasc share a common goal of applying science and innovation to the development of the agri-food sector and seeking to promote the development of rural Ireland. Since 1996, the two organisations collaborated to promote science through the Walsh Fellowship Award and Seminar.
The RDS encourages the participation of young people in farming with the RDS Young Stockperson Awards. These Awards recognise the skill and expertise of young stockpeople at the Winter Fairs in both Kilkenny and Carrick-on-Shannon each year.
These awards continue an RDS involvement in cattle breeding which began with the first Spring Show on the lawn of Leinster House in 1831. Following on the success of the first RDS Champion of Champions in 2006, the Awards have now grown to include all the major cattle societies.