Edmund and Thomas Dwan from Bohernamona, Thurles, Co. Tipperary are the 2014 winners of the NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards.

The national competition known as ‘The Sam Maguire’ of farming sets out to identify and reward our top dairy farmers.

Representing Centenary Thurles Co-op the Dwan’s milk 97 cows with an average herd yield of 6,152 litres. The farm consists of 75ha al grazing. The herd’s has annual average TBC of 12.7 and SCC of 83.1. As well as a butterfat average of 4.09, protein 3.57%, lactose 4.72%

The winners will receive a prize of €5,000 and the NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards perpetual trophy. The judges also have the discretion each year to award national category awards.

Dairy co-operatives throughout the country nominate their best dairy farmers for the national awards, with top farmers who are leaders in their own field often representing a supplier base of hundreds of farmers.

Detailed technical data about each farm is scrutinised by the expert national judging panel.

The judges combine the technical data with the inspection of the farm in order to select the overall national winner. This includes assessing milk quality records for over 12 months along with information about milking practices and facilities, care of the environment, sustainable practices, dairy herd health, animal welfare and general farm management.

The other finalists were:

Anthony & Mary Beechinor, Kilmoylerane, Ballinascarthy, Co. Cork (representing Lisavaird Co-op)

Ben Cottrell & family, Dromkeen, Innishannon, Co. Cork (representing Bandon Co-op)

Eugene M. & Eugene O. Lyons, Clonmoyle, Aghabullogue, Co. Cork (representing Dairygold Co-op)

Helen & Caroline O’Donovan, Brownstown, Ballinspittle, Kinsale, Co. Cork (representing Barryroe Co-op)

Aidan & Mary Reardon, Ballinboy, Ballinhassig, Co. Cork (representing Dairygold Co-op)

Donal & Carmel O’Connor, Reavouler, Drinagh, Co Cork (representing Drinagh Co-op)

Cathal Lowry & family, Brooklawn, Gurtymadden, Loughrea, Co. Galway (representing Aurivo Co-op)

James Luttrell & family, Poulacapple, Callan, Co. Kilkenny (representing Callan Co-op)

Declan Murphy & family, Newpark, Effin, Killmallock, Co. Limerick (representing Kerry Agribusiness)

Gerald O’Connell & family, Hazelfield, Askeaton, Co. Limerick (representing Kerry Co-op)

Patrick (PJ) Boylan, Drumboat, Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan (representing Glanbia/GII)

Michael Crowe, Parkroe, Cappawhite, Co. Tipperary (representing Tipperary Co-op)

Edmund & Thomas Dwan, Bohernamona, Thurles, Co. Tipperary (representing Centenary Thurles Co-op)

Eoin Toohey, Cullenmaine, Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary (representing Arrabawn Co-op)

James & Andrew Walsh, Island Farm, Kilmuckridge, Gorey, Co. Wexford (representing Glanbia Inch/GII)