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Ireland

The Finalists For the NDC And Kerrygold Awards Have Been Announced

The awards are dubbed the Oscars of the dairy world.

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The finalists for this year’s National Dairy Council (NDC) and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards have been revealed ahead of next month's awards ceremony.

Thirteen farming families, representing 11 co-ops, have reached the finals of the awards which take place in Dublin's Clayton Hotel on October 2. Billed as the Oscars of the dairy world, the event is the annual highlight of the national award programme which recognises excellence in dairy farming. The judges Dr Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, Professor Pat Wall from UCD and, Dr David Gleeson from Teagasc visited finalists over the last three months before deciding upon the winners.

The NDC promotes the excellence of dairy producers and champions the role of quality dairy and its benefits in Ireland and abroad. The awards are a chance to celebrate excellence in the industry. This year, they have expanded to include a sustainability aspect, with a particular focus on how Irish dairy farmers care for the environment and their animals. Speaking of this new focus, Zoe Kavanagh, CEO of the National Dairy Council said, “The landscape that we’re living in is changing. Now more than ever consumers are demanding natural sustainably produced food – transparency, authenticity, taking responsibility for your health and keeping it real are now more important than ever.”

The 2019 awards also introduced additional criteria around sustainable dairy operations. Judges looked for excellent practices in areas beyond milk, such as care for animals and the environment. Shortlisted dairy farms underwent an intensive process with 12 months’ worth of reports and technical data looked at, along with farm inspections - with judge Dr David Gleeson noting that “the standard this year was incredibly high”.

Hanrahan Farm, one of this year's finalists.
Hanrahan Farm, one of this year's finalists.

In addition to highlighting the top dairy farm, the judges can also select specific category awards for notable standouts such as Business Innovation,  Development and Best Protein Production. 

The full list of finalists is below

Adam and Valerie Shorten, Eniskeane, Co Cork

Nominated by Bandon Co Op

Dermot Walsh and Family, Bandon, Co Cork

Nominated by Barryroe Co-op

Michael and Thomas Nyhan, Ballineen, Co Cork

Nominated by Lisavaird Co-op

Joe and T.J Stack, Tralee, Co Kerry 

Nominated by Kerry Agribusiness

Brendan O' Driscoll, Leap, Co. Cork 

Nominated by Drinagh

Kieran and Ann Hearne, Rathgormack, Co Waterford

Nominated by Glanbia Ireland

Pat and Miriam Kiely and Ciaran Hanrahan (PMC Dairy Farm)

Nominated by Glanbia

Edward Donovan, Ballybranagh, Cloyne Co. Cork 

Nominated by Dairygold

Michael Gunn and Family, Strokestown, Co Roscommon

Nominated by Aurivo

David McCoy, Smithboro, Co Monaghan

Nominated by Lakeland Dairies

Charles McCandless, Culdaff, Co. Donegal

Nominated by Aurivo Co -op

Albie and Denise Ryan, Cappawhite, Co Tipperary

Nominated by Arrabawn Co-Op

Liam Hanrahan, Listowel, Co Kerry

Nominated by Kerry Agribusiness

For more information on this year’s finalists or the awards go to Qualitymilkawards.ie.

Main image: Olivia Gunn with her family at their farm in Roscommon