The NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards recognise and reward the standards of excellence in dairy farming in Ireland. Over the next nine pages, we profile each of the 14 candidates shorlisted from over 17,000 dairy farmers across Ireland.

Each of the farmers profiled is essentially a winner in their own right as they have been put forward to represent their co-op at national level. The farms nominated for the annual awards undergo a detailed assessment by an expert judging panel based on milk quality test results and technical reports spanning a full 12-month period in order to select a shortlist of finalists.

This year’s judges are Prof Karina Pierce from UCD, Prof Paddy Wall from UCD and Dr David Gleeson from Teagasc Moorepark.

The awards are not just about producing milk with low cell count and low bacterial count, additional criteria has been introduced to identify farmers operating a sustainable dairy operation with clear evidence of excellent technical practices in the areas beyond quality milk such as care for the environment and animal welfare.

The NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards assess the top dairy farms across a number of key areas such as animal health and welfare, dairy and parlour facilities, pride and passion, continuous improvement, hygiene, sustainability and the environment.

This year’s finalists are:

  • Bergin family from Cashel, Co Tipperary representing Centenary Thurles Co-op.
  • Brennan family from Kilcogy Upper, Cavan representing Lakeland Dairies Co-op.
  • Clarke family from Nenagh, Co Tipperary representing Arrabawn Co-op.
  • Coleman family from Bandon, Co Cork representing Barryroe Co-op.
  • Collins family from Ballineen, Co Cork representing Lisavaird Co-op.
  • Dower family from Clashmore, Co Waterford representing Tirlán Co-op.
  • Dullea family from Enniskeane, Co Cork representing Bandon Co-op.
  • Gordon family from Crossmolina, Co Mayo representing Aurivo Co-op.
  • Kingston family from Dunmanway, Co Cork representing Drinagh Co-op.
  • Lonergan family from Cahir Co Tipperary representing Tipperary Co-op.
  • MacNamara family from Hospital, Co Limerick representing Kerry Agribusiness.
  • Mason family from Tralee, Co Kerry representing Lee Strand Co-op.
  • O’Leary family Cloghroe, Co Cork representing Dairygold Co-op.
  • O’Riordan family from Kanturk, Co Cork representing North Cork Co-op.