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The Hearne family

The Winners Of The 2019 NDC And Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards Have Been Announced

The awards have been referred to as the Oscars of the dairy world.


The Hearne family from Rathgormack, Co. Waterford have been voted the top milk producers in the country.

The National Dairy Council promotes the excellence of dairy producers and champions the role of quality dairy and its benefits in Ireland and abroad. For 2019 the awards had a strong focus on sustainability and championed farmers that are committed to caring for their environment.

Thirteen farming families, representing 11 co-ops, made it to the finals of this year’s awards which took place in Dublin's Clayton Hotel. The winner, Kieran Hearne who supplies Glanbia Ireland, received €5,000 in prize money and took home the NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards perpetual cup.  Kieran is a second-generation farmer and has been farming since 1990. The family have expanded its farm in a sustainable manner to make it more profitable and continue to produce top quality milk.

The Hanrahan Farm
The Hanrahan Farm

This year’s shortlisted dairy farms underwent an intensive judging process, involving farming inspections and investigation of 12 months’ worth of reports and technical data. Evidence of sustainable dairy farming was also considered. For each of the finalist farms, the judges also looked at the combined fat and protein percentage for each month of the year, the total volume sold from the farm, the weighted average somatic cell count (SCC) and the total bacteria count (TBC).

Speaking about the awards, Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine said, “The environment which we operate in is ever-changing and while we face significant challenges, it is important to celebrate our dairy farmers who continue to strive for excellence. It’s their hard work and dedication that forms the foundation of success for our industry.”

National Finalist 2019
Adam and Valerie Shorten and Family, Enniskeane, Co. Cork
Nominated by Bandon Co-op

National Finalist 2019
Joe and T.J Stack, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Nominated by Kerry Agribusiness

National Finalist 2019
Liam Hanrahan and Family, Listowel, Co. Kerry
Nominated by North Cork Creameries

National Finalist 2019
Michael Gunn and Family, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon
Nominated by Aurivo Co-op

National Finalist 2019
Tom, Ellen and Michael Nyhan, Ballineen, Co Cork
Nominated by Lisavaird Co-op

Development Award
Brendan O'Driscoll, Leap, Co. Cork
Nominated by Drinagh Co-op

Best Milk Solids Per Cow
Charles McCandless, Culdaff, Co. Donegal
Nominated by Aurivo Co-op

Best Milk Solids - Manufacturing Milk
The Ryan Family,  Cappawhite, Co. Tipperary
Nominated by Arrabawn Co-op

Model Business Collaboration
Pat & Miriam Kiely and Ciaran Hanrahan (PMC Dairy Farm), Ballinamult, Co. Waterford.
Nominated by Glanbia Ireland

Pioneering in Dairy
The McCoy Family, Smithboro, Co. Monaghan
Nominated by Lakeland Dairies

Best SCC
Donovan’s Farm,  Cloyne, Co. Cork
Nominated by Dairygold Co-op

Sustainability Award
Hearne Family Farm, Rathgormack, Co. Waterford
Glanbia Ireland

Best Technical Knowledge
The Walsh Family, Bandon, Co. Cork
Nominated by Barryroe Co-op

For further information on this year's awards go to QualityMilkAwards.ie