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David and Gladys McCoy, Selloo, Smithboro are among thirteen farming families representing 11 co-ops who have reached the finals of the 2019 NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards. The awards, dubbed the “Oscars of the Dairy World”, is an annual national award programme which recognises the highest standards of excellence in dairy farming. This year, the awards have expanded to include criteria demonstrating sustainable dairy farming – with a particular focus on how Irish dairy farmers care for the environment and their animals.

Finalists were visited by judges, Dr Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, Professor Pat Wall from UCD and, Dr David Gleeson from Teagasc, over the last three months and the winner will be announced at the awards ceremony in Dublin on Wednesday 2nd October.  This year’s awards have introduced additional criteria to identify farmers operating a sustainable dairy operation with clear evidence of excellent technical practices in the areas beyond quality milk. Judges are specifically looking for farmers demonstrating care for their environment and their animals. In addition to identifying the top dairy farm, the national judges reserve the option to award specific category awards in sectors which stand out from year to year, these include Business Innovation, Data Management, Development and Best Protein Production. The finalists include: 

David McCoy, Smithboro, Co Monaghan, nominated by Lakeland Dairies (Read more about him here:

Michael Gunn and Family, Strokestown, Co Roscommon, nominated by Aurivo

Charles McCandless, Culdaff, Co. Donegal, nominated by Aurivo Co -op

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


Albie and Denise Ryan, Cappawhite, Co Tipperary, nominated by Arrabawn Co-Op

Liam Hanrahan, Listowel, Co Kerry, nominated by North Cork Creameries