The O’Sullivan family from Whitechurch, east Cork, were announced as the overall winners of the 2020 Dairygold milk quality awards.

John, Teresa, John Junior and Victor O’Sullivan are currently milking a 500-cow herd of pedigree Holstein Friesians under the ‘Lisduff’ herd prefix.

The O’Sullivans fended off competition from the 2,700 farmers from Cork, Tipperary, Limerick and Clare who supplied milk to Dairygold last year.

Among the deciding factors cited by the judges for choosing the O’Sullivans were the attention to detail in herd management, cow fertility performance and excellent milk output. The farm’s extensive use of selective dry cow therapy was also mentioned as being of significant.

Our milk suppliers continued to step up to the mark

“The O’Sullivans are an excellent example of how consistent improvements over time can yield fantastic results,” John O’Gorman, chair of Dairygold commended.

“2020 was a remarkably difficult year for everyone due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this, our milk suppliers continued to step up to the mark and maintained the highest of standards our customers have come to expect of us,” he continued.

The six 2020 regional milk quality award winners:

  • Limerick – Terence, Eileen and Brendan Reidy of Tournafulla, Co Limerick.
  • Mitchelstown – John and Michelle Fox of Ballylanders, Co Limerick.
  • Tipperary – Thomas and Margaret Horan of Cashel, Co Tipperary.
  • Mid-Cork – Michael and John Murphy of Ballinhassig, Co Cork.
  • Mallow – John and Paul Sheehan of Carrignavar, Co Cork.
  • East Cork – John and Teresa O’Sullivan of Whitecork, Co Cork.
  • Judging

    Eighteen finalists were selected for further judging by the adjudication panel made up of Teagasc dairy specialist Don Crowley and Dairygold farm sustainability adviser Ciara Donovan.

    The shortlisted farms were visited in line with restrictions to allow the further detailed assessment to be carried out.

    Among the elements of each farm examined by the judges were milk quality, facilities, herd health, farm sustainability and farm health and safety.

    The winners of the sustainability category were Michael and Emmet Bradfield of Inniskeane, Co Cork.

    “Our dairy industry is of vital importance to not just the farming community in Munster, but also the national economy,” added Dairygold Chief Executive Jim Woulfe.

    “Despite challenges from new and alternative foods, grass fed milk remains the most natural, wholesome, nutritious food product available,” Woulfe finished.