Fourteen farming families respresenting 11 co-ops and 10 counties have reached the finals of the 2017 National Dairy Council and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards.

Each of the finalists have been visited by the judges over the last two months and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Dublin on 4 October.

The judging panel for this year’s awards are Dr Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, Professor Pat Wall from UCD and Dr David Gleeson from Teagasc. Irish chef and food writer Clodagh McKenna has joined the panel this year.

The awards set out to recognise standards of excellence in dairy farming and celebrates the top quality dairy farmers in Ireland.

The judges reviewed detailed assessments based on the nomination forms and technical reports spanning a full 12-month period in order to select a short-list of finalists.

The finalists are:

  • Patrick and Shauna Crotty, Loop Head, Kilbaha South, Kilrush, Co Clare.

    Nominated by: Kerry Agribusiness.

  • Michael and Marguerite Crowley, Bauravilla Upper, Skibbereen, Co Cork.

    Nominated by: Drinagh Co-op.

  • Declan Finn, The Lodge, Cureless, Newtown, Charleville, Co Cork.

    Nominated by: Kerry Agribusiness.

  • Sean Hegarty, Pairc na Glas, Killavarrig, Whites Cross, Co Cork.

    Nominated by: Clóna Dairy Products.

  • Norman Perrott, Grange, Timoleague, Bandon, Co Cork.

    Nominated by: Barryroe Co-op.

  • Robert and Shirley Shannon, Droumgarriffe, Ballinascarthy, Clonakilty, Co Cork.

    Nominated by: Lisavard Co-op.

  • Sean Lynch, Glen Crow, Moville, Co Donegal.

    Nominated by: Aurivo.

  • John, Niall and Carol Mason, Ballinduganig, Ballyseedy, Tralee, Co Kerry.

    Nominated by: Lee Strand Co-op Ltd.

  • Gerard Doyle and Family, Curragh, Owning, Pilton, Co Kilkenny.

    Nominated by: Glanbia Ingredients Ireland.

  • Eamonn McMahon, Nocturne, Stranooden, Co Monaghan.

    Nominated by: LacPatrick.

  • Padraig, John and Gertrude Keane, Ballywilliam, Kilcormac, Birr, Co Offaly.

    Nominated by: Glanbia Ingredients Ireland.

  • Nicky and Philip Thornton, Beechwood, Dualla, Cashel, Co Tipperary.

    Nominated by: Centenary Thurles Co-op.

  • John Walsh, Ballylomasna, Ballylooby, Cahir, Co Tipperary.

    Nominated by: Dairygold Co-op.

  • David Boland, Horseleap, Moate, Co Westmeath

    Nominated by: Aurivo Co-op.

  • “The 14 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 milking routine, animal welfare and sustainability,” said Professor Pat Wall.

    “All of the finalists clearly demonstrated excellent standards in food production. They are leaders in their industry and showcase the utmost standards in sustainability, hygiene, animal welfare and quality.”