The competition, which sets out to highlight and reward Irish dairy farming excellence, has been described as “the Sam Maguire of farming”.
The shortlisted farms receive inspection visits from all three members of the expert judging panel – Professor Paddy Wall, associate professor of Public Health at University College of Dublin; Dr Jack Kennedy, dairy editor, Irish Farmers Journal; and Dr David Gleeson, milk quality research, Teagasc.
The judges will extensively scrutinise technical information and farm management practices supporting each farm’s consistently excellent quality milk standards. They will also assess aspects of contemporary dairy farming ranging from sustainability and animal welfare to care of the environment.
It is expected that the results will be announced on 21 October, with the overall winning farmer set to receive a prize of €5,000 and the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards perpetual trophy.
The 14 national finalists are:
- David Boland, Cartron’s Glebe, Horseleap, Moate, Co Westmeath (supplying milk to Aurivo Co-operative Society)
- Kevin Bourke, Ballinlonty, Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Co Tipperary (supplying milk to Tipperary Co-op)
- Glenn Chapman, Tobergal, Ferns, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford (supplying milk to Glanbia Ingredients Ireland)
- Denis Collins, Letterlickey, Bantry, Co Cork (supplying milk to Drinagh Co-op)
- Edward Fitzgerald, Tobernea, Kilmallock, Co Limerick (suppling milk to Kerry Agribusiness)
- Richard and Nora Fitzgerald, Gortnahown, Mitchelstown, Co Cork (supplying milk to Dairygold Co-op)
- Noel & Anne Jennings, Clancoole, Bandon, Co Cork (supplying milk to Bandon Co-op)
- John McCarthy, Ballymacredmond, Butlerstown, Bandon, Co. Cork (supplying milk to Barryroe Co-op)
- Thomas Mahon, Geeha North, Kinvara, Co Galway (supplying milk to Arrabawn Co-op)
- Conor Molony, Clobanna, Thurles, Co Tipperary (supplying milk to Centenary Thurles Co-op)
- Gerard Murphy, Cahermaculick, Shrule, Co Galway (supplying milk to Aurivo Co-operative Society)
- Denis O’Gorman, Ballinagoul, Kilmallock, Co Limerick (supplying milk to Kerry Agribusiness)
- John O’Gorman, Hugginstown, Co Kilkenny (suppling milk to Glanbia Ingredients Ireland)
- Ronald Shorten, Woodfield, Clonakilty, Co Cork (suppling milk to Lisavaird Co-op)
Competition updates and results when available will be posted to www.qualitymilkawards.ie.