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13 farming families announced as finalists in this year’s NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards

Thirteen farming families representing 11 co-ops have reached the finals of the 2019 NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards. The awards, dubbed the “Oscars of the Dairy World”, is an annual national award programme which recognises the highest standards of excellence in dairy farming. This year, the awards have expanded to include criteria demonstrating sustainable dairy farming – with a particular focus on how Irish dairy farmers care for the environment and their animals.

Zoe Kavanagh, CEO of the National Dairy Council saidThe landscape that we’re living in is changing. Now more than ever consumers are demanding natural sustainably produced food – transparency, authenticity, taking responsibility for your health and keeping it real are now more important than ever. Irish dairy has one of the lowest carbon footprints internationally, primarily due to the unique grass fed, family based Irish farming system which is extremely efficient and involves less intensive farming. It is in all our interests to continue to nurture that approach and support new innovations in soil fertility, water quality and nutrient management”

Finalists were visited by judges, Dr Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, Professor Pat Wall from UCD and, Dr David Gleeson from Teagasc, over the last three months and the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony in Dublin on Wednesday 2nd October.  NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Award Brand Ambassador is chef and food writer Clodagh McKenna who is a passionate advocate of Irish dairy produce at home and abroad.

Congratulating this year’s finalists, John Jordan, CEO Ornua, stated Irish farmers should be very proud of their commitment to producing the best quality milk in the world, enhancing Ireland’s reputation as a natural food producer globally. “Our grass-based family farming system is a vital ingredient to the phenomenal success of the Kerrygold brand worldwide. It is fantastic to see and celebrate such high standards of practice and we look forward to awarding the overall winner in October.”

This year’s awards have introduced additional criteria to identify farmers operating a sustainable dairy operation with clear evidence of excellent technical practices in the areas beyond quality milk. Judges are specifically looking for farmers demonstrating care for their environment and their animals. “The standard this year was incredibly high and the shortlisted dairy farms were put through intensive scrutiny involving rigorous analysis of milk quality reports and technical data spanning a full 12-month period and included an inspection of their farms by the judges, which allowed us to get insights into the farm’s practices around areas such as environment, animal welfare and sustainability”  said judge Dr David Gleeson.

In addition to identifying the top dairy farm, the national judges reserve the option to award specific category awards in sectors which stand out from year to year, these include Business Innovation, Data Management, Development and Best Protein Production.

(Please note, the list below includes a link to each finalists page on this website)

2019 NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards Finalists

Adam and Valerie Shorten, Eniskeane, Co Cork

Nominated by Bandon Co Op

Dermot Walsh and Family, Bandon, Co Cork

Nominated by Barryroe Co-op

Michael and Thomas Nyhan, Ballineen, Co Cork

Nominated by Lisavaird Co-op

Joe and T.J Stack, Tralee, Co Kerry

Nominated by Kerry Agribusiness

Brendan O' Driscoll, Leap, Co. Cork

Nominated by Drinagh

Kieran and Ann Hearne, Rathgormack, Co Waterford

Nominated by Glanbia Ireland

Pat and Miriam Kiely and Ciaran Hanrahan (PMC Dairy Farm)

Nominated by Glanbia

Edward Donovan, Ballybranagh, Cloyne Co. Cork

Nominated by Dairygold

Michael Gunn and Family, Strokestown, Co Roscommon

Nominated by Aurivo

David McCoy, Smithboro, Co Monaghan

Nominated by Lakeland Dairies

Charles McCandless, Culdaff, Co. Donegal

Nominated by Aurivo Co -op

Albie and Denise Ryan, Cappawhite, Co Tipperary

Nominated by Arrabawn Co-Op

Liam Hanrahan, Listowel, Co Kerry

Nominated by North Cork Creameries

#MadeForThis.

Monique Kelleher