Quality Milk Awards 2020: Who are the Co. Cork finalists?

11 finalists have been shortlisted for the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards 2020, which sets out to find and celebrate the top quality milk farmers in Ireland.

Given this year’s constraints and to ensure the achievements of these families are recognised, the finalists will be showcased, and the winner revealed, on nationwide television during a three-minute special extended ad break of the Late Late Show on Friday, October 30.

Irish farming is more than just a business, it is a way of life. Irish farmers learn their craft from their parents and grandparents before them. In every sense, Irish farmers are #MadeForThis.

Below are the profiles of the four finalists from the Co. Cork area.

O’Donovan Farm – Drinagh

Father and son duo William and Dan O’Donovan farm in Minanes, Drinagh, in West Cork.

William is the fourth generation to farm the land and has been working with his father for as long as he can remember. Spending time milking cows and driving tractors has always been one of his favourite pastimes.

Now a father to three young children, Alice, James and Clara, William’s family are lovers of countryside living and spending time outdoors. William takes pride in the fact that farming in Drinagh creates and supports so many jobs in the community.

The O’Donovan’s are supported by a tight-knit network of neighbouring farms and suppliers that are always looking out for one another.

Lordan Farm – Dairygold

Michael works the Lordan family farm in Newcestown, Bandon, Co. Cork, with his father, Denis, and mother, Nora.

The old farmhouse, bright blue in colour, sits across the road from where the family resides now. Having helped out on the farm since a young boy, Michael went into partnership with his father in 2017 after returning from farming in New Zealand.

He is proud to have introduced several of his learned practices and new ideas in order to improve the sustainability and profitability of the operation, including grazing.

He believes himself and his father are not the only ones to benefit from their partnership as the farm itself benefits greatly too.

Michael, who also has a sister, is the fourth generation to work the farm. He believes farming is vital to their community in Bandon, where neighbouring farmers support each other.

A work-life balance is important for Michael and he starts his farming day especially early so he can spend his free time in the evenings with his girlfriend, Cáit, friends, playing GAA and pitch and putt.

Keohane Farm – Barryroe

Jerry Keohane has been working the family farm in Clonakilty, Co. Cork, for 40 years.

Married to Carmel and father to Máire, Brendan and Eilís, Jerry’s family are the sixth generation on the farm. The farm has views of the beautiful Inchydoney Beach and the area is steeped in local history.

There are four ring forts surrounding Jerry’s farm alone, and the townland itself features the ruins of a church dating back to the 12th century.

Jerry’s parents, now both deceased, worked the farm as a family unit. He has kept a lot of their practices in his operation but has also made a few changes over time.

Jerry is currently growing his hedgerows as he believes it is important for the ecosystem to diversify, so his grandchildren and great-grandchildren can benefit from it. Listening to the small birds chirping and darting in and out of the hedges is music to his ears.

The Keohanes have won many awards over the years, but Jerry believes it is important to remain grounded. The family enjoy travel and learning about new places, walking and hiking.

Daunt Farm – Bandon Co-op

Nigel Daunt is the third generation to work the family farm in Coolcullitha, Innishannon, Co. Cork.

Nigel grew up on the farm and has always had a keen interest in the goings on of the farm. From a young age he was trusted to make changes in order to expand and improve the operation.

Nigel lives on the farm with his parents and one of his sisters. As a child, he loved watching the tractors and machinery and has memories of being in the yard watching his father working and helping out where he could.

Watching the cows jumping with excitement when going out to graze after winter is something Nigel looks forward to year on year. The local community is a productive farming area. Nigel enjoys the outdoors and his hobbies include hiking, cycling, and reading.

Further information

For more information on the 11 finalists for the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards, just click here