Cream of the Crop Compete for Sam Maguire of Farming

To mark the launch of this year's award programme, National Dairy Council Chief Executive visited the Co. Waterford farm of the national winners for 2010 - Kevin & John Walsh from Kilnafrehan West, Dungarvan. Co. Waterford.    Pictured on the farm were Kevin Walsh;  Zoë Kavanagh, Chief Executive of the National Dairy Council; John Walsh; and Dominic Cronin, Chairman, National Dairy Council.

Eighteen dairy farms representing 13 counties have been nominated for this year’s National Dairy Council Quality Milk Awards. The NDC competition, which sets out to identify our top dairy farmer, has been described as the ‘Sam Maguire of Farming’.

“These 18 dairy farms can already be considered the cream of the crop,” explains Zoë Kavanagh, Chief Executive of the NDC. “Many of the co-ops who nominate dairy farmers for this competition select their top farmers each year from a supplier base of literally thousands of farmers. Securing a nomination for this award is, in its own right, a recognition of top quality farming by the nominating co-op. All of the farmers nominated should be proud of this achievement - we’re certainly delighted with the standard of entries.”

Detailed technical forms related to each nominated farm are currently in the hands of the expert national judging panel – Professor Paddy Wall, Associate Professor of Public Health at UCD; Dr David Gleeson, Milk Quality Research, Teagasc; and Dr. Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor, Irish Farmers Journal.

The judges are expected to select a short-list of finalists for a visit by the national judges towards the end of July. The judging panel will combine the technical data with the inspection of the farm in order to select the overall national winner.

The overall winning farmer will receive a prize of €5,000 and the National Dairy Council Quality Milk Awards perpetual trophy. It is also at the discretion of the judges each year to select whether category prizes will be awarded – for instance in areas such as sustainability or care of the environment.

Dairy farmers nominated for the 2011 National Dairy Council Quality Milk Awards are:


  • Paddy Harvey, Brisla, Cooraclare, Co Clare, nominated by Kerry Agribusiness


  • Sean Dineen, Brade, Union Hall, Co Cork, nominated by Drinagh Co-op
  • Daragh Kennedy, Farm Manager, Lisavaird Farms, Kippagh, Dunmanway, Co Cork, nominated by Lisavaird Co-op
  • Donal McCarthy, Bishopland, Drimoleague, Co Cork, nominated by Drinagh Co-op
  • Vanessa & David O’Connor, Russell Hill, Upton, Co Cork, nominated by Bandon Co-op
  • Norman Tutill, Brookfield, Burleigh, Bandon, Co Cork, nominated by Barryroe Co-op


  • Charles McCandless, Lisnacara, Culduff, Co. Donegal, nominated by Donegal Creameries


  • John Fox, Ballinacregg, Oranmore, Co Galway, nominated by Arrabawn Co-op


  • Tommy Culloty, Currovough, Tralee, Co Kerry, nominated by Lee Strand Co-op


  • Paddy O’Reilly, St. John’s, Castledermot, Co Kildare, nominated by Glanbia


  • John O’Keeffe, Court-na-Boola, Callan, Co Kilkenny, nominated by Callan Co-op


  • Michael Gowing, Kilminchy, Portlaoise, Co Laois, nominated by Glanbia


  • Michael Enright, c/o En Farm, Ballynorth, Askeaton, Co Limerick, nominated by Kerry Agribusiness
  • Denis O’Gorman, Ballinagoul, Killmallock, Co Limerick, nominated by Kerry Co-op


  • Michael Lyons, Ballyburke, Ayle, Westport, Co Mayo, nominated by Connacht Gold Co-op


  • Paschal Walsh, Ardbash House, Edenderry, Co Offaly, nominated by Virginia (Glanbia)


  • Michael Cully, Carrowreagh, Tubbercurry, Co Sligo, nominated by Connacht Gold Co-op


  • Brendan Kavanagh, Moneycarrow, Arklow, Co Wicklow, nominated by Glanbia


Competition updates and results when available will be posted to the National Dairy Council web site.

Click here for further information about the NDC Quality Milk Awards

For further information about the NDC, return to our Home Page


Media Enquiries to:

Antonina Ni Dhuinn, Progress Communications - 01-276 6117 - nina[at] -


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