Finalist farmers shortlisted for Quality Milk Awards 2017

A total of 14 finalists have been shortlisted for the NDC (National Dairy Council) and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards 2017, it has been announced.

The awards, which sets out to find and celebrate the top-quality dairy farmers in Ireland, has selected the finalists from nine different counties and 11 different co-ops.

According to organisers, this year’s awards celebrate the “heritage that makes irish milk unique” – highlighting that Irish farming is more than just a business, it is a way of life.

Irish chef and food writer Clodagh McKenna has been added to this year’s judging panel, which also includes representatives from UCD and Teagasc.

Commenting on the awards, McKenna said: “As an Irish chef working abroad, Irish dairy produce has a superb reputation for quality in global markets.

“In Ireland, many of us take it for granted that we have countryside with so many fields of grass – but our green countryside is a tremendous asset because the pasture-based model of dairy farming is a vital ingredient for the success of Irish dairy produce all over the world.”

The shortlisted farming families vary from relatively new entrants in dairy farming to well-established dairy farmers going back several generations.

Chosen for the award are:

  • David and Kathleen Boland, of Moate Co. Westmeath, who were nominated by Aurivo Co-op;
  • Patrick and Shona Crotty, from Loophead, Co. Clare, who were nominated by Kerry Agribusiness;
  • Michael and Marguerite Crowley, Co. Cork, nominated by Drinagh Co-op;
  • Gerard and Kathleen Doyle, from Owning, Co. Kilkenny, nominated by Glanbia Ingredients Ireland;
  • Declan and Alison Finn, Co. Cork, nominated by Kerry Agribusiness;
  • Sean and Mary Hegarty, Co. Cork, nominated by Clona Dairy Products;
  • Padraig and John Keane, Co. Offaly, nominated by Glanbia Ingredients Ireland;
  • Sean and Marie Lynch, Co. Donegal, nominated by Aurivo Co-op;
  • John, Carol and Niall Mason, Tralee, Co. Kerry, nominated by LeeStrand Co-op;
  • Eamon and Patricia McMahon, Co. Monaghan, nominated by LacPatrick;
  • Norman and Elma Perrott, Co. Cork, nominated by Ballyroe Co-op;
  • Robert and Shirley Shannon, Co. Cork, nominated by Lisavaird Co-op;
  • Nicky, Dolores and Philip Thornton, Beechbrook, Co. Tipperary, nominated by Thurles Co-op;
  • John and Maria Walsh, Co. Tipperary, nominated by Dairygold Co-op.

The winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on October 4, in Dublin.