Two Mayo farming families have claimed the top prizes of the Aurivo milk quality awards. The awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the dairy sector.

Michael Gordon, a dairy farmer from Crossmolina, Co Mayo, was awarded the Aurivo milk supplier of the year.

He was recognised for his commitment to animal welfare, exceptional milk quality and sustainable farming practices.

Michael currently manages a family-run dairy farm, with 75 crossbred cows on 50ha in Crossmolina, Co Mayo.

His wife Ita and their children Emily, Kevin, Ciara, and Aoife are committed to animal welfare, exceptional milk quality and sustainable farming practices.

Best suppliers

As the winner of the Aurivo milk supplier of the year award, Michael will represent Aurivo at the National Dairy Council (NDC) and Kerrygold quality milk awards, an event that celebrates the best milk suppliers in Ireland.

Michael was also presented with the excellence in udder health award. His success in this category is attributed to his careful monitoring of his herd's cell count, utilising available data to prevent infections.

Through the use of culture and sensitivity testing, Michael ensures appropriate treatment for cows and strives to reduce the reliance on antibiotics on his farm.

Sustainability champion

Louis Dolan is a dairy farmer in Hollymount, Co Mayo. The Dolans took home the champion of sustainability award for their commitment to sustainability and their farm's low-emission trajectory.

The family's dedication to crossbreeding, which produces high protein and fat output, has reduced their reliance on feed.

Their sustainable practices also include the use of protected urea to minimise nitrogen usage, incorporating clover in 30% of their grazing platform, with a goal to increase it further, rainwater harvesting and biological pest control through owl boxes.

Louis Dolan, a recipient of the champions of sustainability award.

Aurivo chief executive Donal Tierney praised the commitment and quality standards of the winning dairy farmers, stating: “The Aurivo milk quality awards is an annual award programme which recognises a degree of excellence in dairy farming.

"I am delighted to congratulate our eight milk quality award winners, who exemplify commitment to the highest quality of milk supply for both liquid and manufacturing milk.”