SIX farmers have been short-listed as finalists in the National Dairy Council (NDC) Quality Milk Awards, the national competition which sets out to identify and reward the country’s top dairy farmer.
All of the technical and background data on the six finalists will be assessed by a panel of judges, who will also visit and inspect their farms.
The NDC said the awards help to build awareness about the dairy farmers who are behind Irish dairy brands.
They also create an opportunity to showcase to consumers the top quality of dairy farming in Ireland.
“The awards also provide a platform for co-ops, at a challenging time for the dairy sector, to highlight to their own suppliers the technical requirements, standards and techniques which drive top quality milk production,” NDC said.
It is expected the final results will be known in early October, with the overall winning farmer set to receive a prize of €5,000 and the NDC Quality Milk Awards perpetual trophy. It is also at the discretion of the judges to decide whether category prizes will be awarded.
Three of the six short-listed finalists are from Cork – Gordon Kingston, Tawnies, Clonakilty, (Clona Dairy Products), Sean and Goretti Leahy, Waterfall (Bandon Co-op) and Michael O’Donovan, Ballineen (Lisavaird Co-op) The other three are all Glanbia milk suppliers – Richard Claxton, Ballyroan, Portlaoise, Co Laois; Brochan Cocoman, Kill, Co Kildare and Cathal Moran, Skeoughousteen, via Borris, Co Kilkenny.
NDC chief executive Helen Brophy thanked all of the dairy co-ops who took time to select and submit nominations for this year’s awards.
“We were delighted with the interest in the awards and with the quality of entries received. Therefore, we will provide commemorative certificates to all of those other farmers who were nominated, but who did not make the short list on this occasion,” she said.
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