Kilkenny tillage farmer and former All Ireland winning hurler Noel Hickey, Dunamaggin, Co Kilkenny, was announced as the overall Glanbia Quality Grain Grower Award Winner for 2014.

Glanbia Agribusiness honoured its top quality grain growers at an Awards Ceremony in Kilkenny today.

As Ireland’s largest purchaser and user of native grain, Glanbia also presented Category Awards to nine other growers who achieved the highest standard across each of their grain categories.

Presenting the Glanbia trophy and a Waterford crystal award to the overall quality winner today, Glanbia Chairman, Liam Herlihy complimented Noel Hickey and all category winners on their achievements.

“Quality assurance, traceability and high standards are essential to the ongoing success of this industry. The high quality of the winning crop of BARRA Food Grade Oats demonstrates why Ireland and Irish farmers deservedly enjoy an excellent reputation throughout the world for our quality food and drink products.

“All our award winners today can be justifiably proud of their achievement, not only having succeeded in producing grain to the highest standards but for doing so in a commercially efficient and environmentally friendly way.

“Glanbia is proud to be associated with a quality awards scheme that rewards growers who produce crops under a quality assured system, with excellent crop husbandry and farm records.

“In 2014 Glanbia handled 198,000 tonnes of grain from growers in the Glanbia catchment area,” he said.

Noel Hickey, with his wife Elaine have two children and he runs his tillage enterprise with a combination of owned and rented land totaling 350 acres in South Kilkenny.

He supplies winter barley, food grade oats and malting barley on contract to Glanbia. He also grows winter wheat and spring beans as part of his rotation.

His award winning crop of Food Grade Oats was BARRA with a KPH 58.3, moisture 16.3%, and protein of 10.3%. Noel is also a holder of 9 Senior All Ireland medals with Kilkenny and is regarded as one of the great hurling full backs of the modern game.

Glanbia Quality Grain Grower Category Awards were also presented to:
Spring Feed Barley – Stephen Hatton, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
Winter Barley – Matt Dempsey, Cellbridge, Co Kildare
Dried Barley – Joe O’ Donoghue, Stamullen, Co Meath
Malting Barley – Tom Beausang, Clashmore, Co Waterford
Seed Barley – Brendan Owens, Athy, Co Kildare
Green Feed Wheat – Patrick O’Connor, Ardfinnan, Co Tipperary
Dried Feed Wheat – Sean & John McCormack, Redhills, Co Kildare
Seed Wheat – Martina & Jamie Whelan, Ballycarney, Co Wexford
Food Grade Oats – Noel Hickey, Dunamaggin, Co Kilkenny
Equine Oats – Robert Milne, Ferns, Co Wexford