In the third instalment of our NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards 2022 series, in association with the National Dairy Council, Kerrygold and Ornua, we meet three more farming families that have made it to the finals of these prestigious annual awards.
Today, you’ll meet three finalist families from three different counties.
Brian, a fourth-generation farmer from Summerville, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, works side-by-side with his father, Pat, on the family farm.
Together, they milk 133 cows and supply 858,171L to Centenary Thurles Co-operative society Ltd. The milk supplied has a total bacterial count (TBC) of 11,000, a somatic cell count (SCC) of 140, and comprises protein at 3.71% and butterfat at 4.48%.
Joining Brian on the Hogan farm are his wife, Lorraine, and three children, Caoimhe, Bríana and Liam.
Brian has been helping his father out since the age of six and has always shown a keen interest in taking over the family farm. Having done some travel and witnessed other dairy farm operations, Brian was eager to bring his learnings back to Summerville.
The family have a huge respect for all the effort and passion that has gone into maintaining their land before them.
“If you look after the land, it’ll look after you,” they said.
They are keen to learn as much from times gone by as they are open to new ideas.
Gearóid Maher’s family farm is in Killuragh, Cappamore, Co. Limerick. He lives there with his wife Sarah, and their young daughter, Sally Kate.
A fourth-generation farmer, Gearóid’s family have been farming the land since the mid-1800s.
Having completed an Agricultural Science degree in 2011, and participated in the European Innovation Project, Gearóid was then scouted to become a Farming for Nature ambassador.
The farm produces 469,997L of milk from 78 cows. The milk, supplied to Dairygold, has a TBC of 8,000, a SCC of 118 and comprises butterfat at 4.24% and protein at 3.53%.
Ever the optimist, Gearóid’s outlook on life is to make the most of what you do and to enjoy yourself while doing it.
“We’re only here for a short time,” he said.
“You have to enjoy what you do or life will pass you by.”
A family man, he ensures he finishes at a normal hour to spend quality time with his wife and daughter every evening.
Gearóid credits Sophie, a neighbour studying Farm Management, for her dedication and support on the farm.
Maurice Moynihan farms with his father, Timmy, in Ballyduff, Knocknagoshil, Tralee, Co. Kerry.
A third-generation farmer, Maurice began helping his father around the farm at the age of 11, and fell in love with farming life.
“I’ve always wanted to be a dairy farmer,” he said.
“I enjoy the freedom. You’re your own boss. You’re completely out in the open. Completely different to the likes of an office job.”
His brothers, Teddy, Michael, Kevin and Thomas, would help out when needed, especially at silage time.
Animal husbandry comes naturally to Maurice, who feels that the health of the herd is key to a smooth-running operation that produces top-quality milk.
His 75-cow herd produces 496,271L, which is supplied to North Cork Creameries. The milk has a TBC of 12,000, a SCC of 87 and comprises butterfat at 3.78% and protein at 3.39%.
An open-minded individual, Maurice feels that it’s necessary to move with the times in order to ensure continual improvement across all aspects of farming.
Maurice considers farming a community affair and feels he would not be where he is today without the help and involvement of his neighbours and community.
Tune into Agriland throughout the week as we bring you more family farms who have been chosen as finalists for the NDC Kerrygold Milk Quality Awards 2022.
And for more information on the awards, click here.