Farmers who are #MadeForThis set benchmark for industry

Thirteen top Irish dairy farms shortlisted for National Quality Milk Awards



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29 September 2015

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Thirteen of Ireland’s top dairy farms will compete in the finals of the National Dairy Council and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards. The annual national award programme is the recognised standard for excellence in dairy farming. The achievements of this year’s finalists and winning farm will be celebrated in a campaign using the hashtag #MadeForThis, which will highlight the excellence of Irish dairy farming both at home and abroad.

The 13 shortlisted farmers, based in nine counties, reached the final following nomination by Co-ops around Ireland. The finalists will be put through an intensive judging process before a winner is announced on 20 October.

Zoë Kavanagh, chief executive of the National Dairy Council explained how both heritage and innovation are at the heart of the perfect dairy farm:“What we have seen year after year, in the finalists and winners in the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards is the marriage of traditional farming techniques, passed through generations, with the application of the best of modern technology and science,” she said.

Kevin Lane, Ornua CEO said: “The dairy farmers who have been shortlisted are the best of the best.  They show a dedication to their craft which is beyond parallel. They are not only driving the quality of their own farms, but they are also raising the bar for the whole industry.” 

A celebratory campaign, under the heading #MadeForThis, will focus on the importance of heritage and the sense of collective kinship that exists in farm communities. The campaign sees the launch of a new website,, which will hero each of this year’s finalists by sharing rich and engaging profiles, photography and videos of their farms and lives to showcase how they are #MadeForThis.

Those contending for the top spot will be judged based on inspection of milk quality reports and technical data spanning a full 12 month period; combined with best practice on critical areas such as sustainability, care of the environment, animal health and welfare and overall farm management.

The overall winning dairy farmer will receive a prize of €5,000 and the coveted National Dairy Council and Kerrygold Quality Milk Award perpetual trophy.

Judging for the national award includes a farm inspection by the expert national judging panel – Professor Patrick Wall, Associate Professor of Public Health at UCD; Dr David Gleeson, Milk Quality Research, Teagasc; and Dr. Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor & Deputy Editor, Irish Farmers Journal

The 2015 national finalists for the NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards are:

County Cavan

  • Ivor Smyth, Countenan, Poles, Co Cavan (representing Lakeland Dairies)

County Cork

  • Dan & Valerie Dennehy, Clonmoyle, Aghabullogue, Co. Cork (representing Dairygold Co-op)
  • James Kingston, Maulnageragh, Clonakilty, Co. Cork (representing Lisavaird Co-op)
  • Owen & Rosaleen O’Brien, Cashelbeg, Enniskeane, Co. Cork (representing Bandon Co-op)
  • Denis, Siobhan, Barry & Jane O’Mahony, Shanakiel, Kilbrittain, Bandon, Co. Cork (representing Barryroe Co-op)
  • Kieran & Catherine O’Sullivan, Dunmanus, Goleen, Co. Cork (representing Drinagh Co-op)

County Galway

  • John & Colette Fox, Ballinacregg, Oranmore, Co. Galway (representing Arrabawn Co-op)

County Kerry

  • Florence & Caitriona McCarthy, Banna East, Ardfert, Co. Kerry (representing Lee Strand Co-op)

County Kilkenny

  • John & Margaret Greene, Greenville, Callan, Co. Kilkenny (representing Callan Co-op)


County Limerick

  • Michael and Mary Ita McCarthy, Kilmurray, Feenagh, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick (representing Kerry Agribusiness)

County Sligo

  • Gerard & Marie Killoran, Carrowloughlin, Bunninadden, Ballymote, Co. Sligo (representing Aurivo Co-op)

County Tipperary

  • Thomas & Marie Ryan, Kylemakill, Moyne, Thurles, Co. Tipperary (representing Centenary Thurles Co-op)

County Wexford

  • John & Ann Fitzgerald, Gobbinstown House, New Ross, Co. Wexford (representing Glanbia Ingredients Ireland)


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