The award-winning Lonergan farm stands out as a shining example of excellence in the farming industry. Selected by Tipperary Co-op from its pool of 400 suppliers, this family-run farm consistently ranks among the top 10% in key metrics such as milk solids, somatic cell count (SCC) and calving interval.

The farm is led by John and Martina Lonergan, with the invaluable assistance of their daughter Cora who seamlessly balance the responsibilities of milking cows and raising a family.

With an 85-cow herd, primarily consisting of 60% to 70% British Friesian, the Lonergans have chosen to prioritise genetic improvements over herd expansion to increase output.

This approach aligns with their commitment to environmental sustainability, as they actively seek to minimise their farm’s impact on the environment.

The farm carbon footprint is exceptional at 0.67 and it is achieved by spreading slurry using LESS, choosing high-EBI bulls (182) focused on carbon index and the use of protected urea/lime.

These environmentally conscious farmers are members of the Galtee hill walking club, with John serving as the chair, showcasing their dedication to nature and leading an active lifestyle. They recognise the importance of safeguarding water quality and proudly claim 300m of the Aherlow river that flows through their farm. Taking steps to reduce chemical sprays, the Lonergans are gradually phasing them out entirely.

Stepping into the Lonergan farm, visitors are greeted by an aura of serenity and tranquillity. The entire milking process is meticulously managed to maintain a stress-free environment for the cows, while upholding the highest hygiene standards. The Lonergans’ attention to detail at every stage ensures a smooth and seamless operation.

Their dedication to calf health and welfare is unparalleled, setting a gold standard for other farms to aspire to.

With a remarkable focus on maximising grass intake, they employ advanced practices such as grass measurement every five days and the use of clover. They are members of the West Tipp grass measuring group.

The Lonergans’ eldest daughter, Amy, works as a special needs assistant with the Brothers of Charity, while their son, Eoin, works for a local agriculture contractor and assists on the farm whenever necessary.

With their focus on sustainable practices, top-tier milk production, serene farming environment, and exceptional care for their animals, the Lonergans represent the unique selling point of the Irish dairy farm.

Their story is one that showcases the perfect balance between thriving in the agricultural sector and making a positive difference in the community and the environment.