Ornua and the National Dairy Council (NDC) this week announced the 11 dairy farming families representing 11 dairy co-ops have reached the finals of the 2020 NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards.

From west Cork to Donegal, the farmers have been nominated by their co-ops based on the overall performance of the business as measured by a range of factors including: milk quality and composition, sustainability, herd health, environmental planning and key profit indicators.

This year, given the COVID-19 restrictions, no formal gathering is planned to announce the winner so instead finalists are to be showcased and the winner revealed during a three-minute extended ad break on The Late Late Show on Friday 30 October.

2020 NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards finalists:

  • Catherine & Edward Bowe, Tipperary nominated by Centenary Thurles Co-op.
  • Eamon Cormican, Galway nominated by Arrabawn Co-op.
  • Nigel Daunt & Family, Cork nominated by Bandon Co-op.
  • Stanley & Tanya Graham, Cavan nominated by Lakeland Dairies Co-op.
  • Jerry Keohane, Cork nominated by Barryroe Co-op.
  • Fiachra & Mary Liston, Limerick nominated by Kerry Agribusiness Co-op.
  • Denis, Nora & Michael Lordan, Cork nominated by Dairygold Co-op.
  • William & Dan O’Donovan, Cork nominated by Drinagh Co-op.
  • Thomas Junior, Thomas and Mary O’Grady, Kildare nominated by Glanbia Ireland Co-op.
  • William Stack, Kerry nominated by North Cork Creameries Co-op.
  • Richard Starrett, Donegal nominated by Aurivo Co-op.
  • Earlier this year the National Dairy council launched a new billboard campaign promoting grass fed dairy farming.

    Commenting on the announcement, CEO of Ornua John Jordan said: “It is now more important than ever to acknowledge the community of farming families who have worked really hard and shown great resilience in keeping quality, nutritious dairy in our fridges despite the unprecedented challenges of 2020.

    All farming finalists undergo a detailed assessment by an expert judging panel

    “As a nation, we should be incredibly proud of our dairy industry – our grass-fed produce is revered all over the world and it is incredibly fitting that these families will be celebrated nationwide during The Late Late Show at the end of October.”

    All farming finalists undergo a detailed assessment by an expert judging panel based on milk quality test results, technical reports spanning 12 months and evidence of sustainable and animal welfare on-farm practices.

    CEO of the NDC Zoe Kavanagh said: “Irish dairy is renowned globally for being grass-based, high-quality and low-emissions with the most efficient production system in Europe. In addition to this Irish dairy is an ‘economic powerhouse’ that is underpinning wealth and job creation outside Ireland’s urban centres.

    “The dairy industry here supports 60,000 jobs, particularly in rural and regional economies, where other sectors don’t reach. We export €4bn a year. And the spend within the economy is €3.8bn per annum, which is really significant in what has been an incredibly challenging year for Ireland’s economy”.

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