THREE West Cork farming families are among 14 nationally, representing 11 co-ops and 10 counties, who have reached the finals of the 2017 National Dairy Council and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards.
Each of the finalists has been visited by the judges over the last two months and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Dublin on October 4th next. The three finalists from West Cork include last year’s winners of the Dairy Farmer of the Year title in the West Cork Farming Awards, Michael and Marguerite Crowley of Bauravilla Upper, Skibbereen, who supply Drinagh Co-Op.
Also in contention are Lisavaird suppliers Robert and Shirley Shannon, Droumgarriffe, Ballinascarthy, who are finalists in the Dairy Farmer of the Year category in the 2017 West Cork Farming Awards – the winners of which will be announced at a ceremony in the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, this Sunday afternoon – and Norman Perrott, Grange, Timoleague, who was nominated by Barryroe Co-Op.
The judging panel for this year’s awards are Dr Jack Kennedy, dairy editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, Professor Pat Wall from UCD and Dr David Gleeson from Teagasc. Irish chef and food writer Clodagh McKenna has also joined the panel this year. The awards set out to recognise standards of excellence in dairy farming and celebrates the top quality dairy farmers in Ireland: ‘The 14 shortlisted dairy farms were put through intensive scrutiny involving rigorous analysis of milk quality reports and technical data spanning a full 12-month period and included an inspection of their farms by the judges, which allowed us to get insights into the farm’s practices around areas such as milking routine, animal welfare and sustainability,’ said Professor Pat Wall.
‘All of the finalists clearly demonstrated excellent standards in food production. They are leaders in their industry and showcase the utmost standards in sustainability, hygiene, animal welfare and quality, he added.