THE competition to identify and reward the country’s top dairy farm has opened for 2016, with dairy co-ops throughout the country invited to nominate their top milk suppliers for the NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards, before the closing date of Friday, May 13th.
The current holder of the top dairy farm title is Kieran O’Sullivan and his family from Dunmanus, near Goleen, who supplies Drinagh Co-Op. There were great celebrations on the Mizen Peninsula when they returned home triumphantly from Dublin with the trophy last autumn.
‘Irish dairy produce has a superb reputation for quality in global markets,’ said Jeanne Kelly, Kerrygold spokesperson. ;In Ireland, many of us take it for granted that we have countryside with so many fields of grass – but our green countryside is a tremendous asset because the pasture-based model of dairy farming is a vital ingredient for the success of the Kerrygold brand worldwide.’
National judge, Professor Pat Wall from UCD, said consumers in Ireland are fortunate to have access to fresh top quality milk everyday for their breakfast and for their coffee or tea. ‘We are the envy of consumers in many other countries,’ he said.
‘We have to recognise that global milk pricing is having an impact and times are genuinely very challenging for many Irish dairy farmers at the moment,’ said Dr Jack Kennedy, dairy editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, also on the national judging panel. ‘It is all the more reason to identify and to highlight top-quality farm practices.’
Rules, nomination criteria and details are available at www.qualitymilkawards.ie
The results are expected to be announced in October.