A dairy farming family in Co Monaghan has been announced as supreme champions of the Lakeland Dairies milk quality awards.

William and Alan Nicholson, Drumacrib, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, took home the top prize at the awards ceremony on Thursday.

The milk quality awards are public recognition of the achievements of Lakeland Dairies’ milk suppliers who are committed to quality in all aspects of their milk production.

The winners emerged from among 3,200 farm families across 16 counties who produce milk for the 2bn litres Lakeland Dairies milk pool.


The awards were presented by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, with Lakeland Dairies chair Niall Matthews and chief executive Michael Hanley.

Minister McConalogue said: “To win an award where you are recognised by your own co-op for having produced a top-quality product is a truly remarkable achievement.

“Producing high-quality milk is not something that is done overnight. It is a lifetime’s achievement and the result of a commitment to excellence every time you step into the parlour and every breeding decision you make,” he said.

The winners

The supreme champions claimed the accolade for the exceptionally high quality of milk produced on their farm throughout the past year.

Over-500,000l category winners

The Nicholsons also took home the over-500,000l producer category award in the Republic of Ireland.

The highly commended runners-up in this category were Richard and Joan Greene, Killeen, Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath.

Under-500,000l category winners

Seán Higgins, Trim, Co Meath, was the winner of this category, while Micheal Smith, Lishenry, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, was the highly commended runner-up.

Sustainability award winners

Rosemary and David Moran, Glasson, Athlone, Co Westmeath, won the Lakeland Dairies sustainability award for their outstanding commitment to sustainable milk production and environmental and economic sustainability.

Best new entrants

Lakeland Dairies has welcomed over 350 new milk producers to the co-operative in recent years.

Dairy farmers PJ, Peter Jnr and Donal Grogan, Leamore, Tullamore, Co Offaly, were declared winners of the Republic of Ireland best new entrant category.

Kevin and John McDonnell, Brookeboro, Co Fermanagh, won the Northern Ireland best new entrant category.

Northern Ireland

Over-1m-litre category winners

John Morrow and Scott Davidson, Gilnahirk, Co Down, won the over-1m-litre milk producer category in Northern Ireland.

Fred and David Liggett, Stewartstown, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, were highly commended runners-up in the over-1m-litre producer category in Northern Ireland.

Under-1m-litre category winners

William and Robert McCrum, Markethill, Co Armagh, won the under-1m-litre producer category in Northern Ireland.

Harry, Lex and Alastair Campbell, Ballymoney, Co Antrim, were highly commended runners-up in the same category.