A Tipperary farming family have been announced as runners up in the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards.
Tom Ryan, along with his wife Mary and their son Michael were nominated by Centenary Thurles Co-op for the award and were named as overall runners up behind Monaghan farmers Darran and Denise McKenna.
The Ryan family have farmed in Lisheen since the 1880’s and Michael is the fifth generation farmer to farm this land. Tom and his wife Mary have three children; Angela, Michael and Padraig.
Michael holds a honours degree in Agricultural Science and began working full time, in partnership with his parents, in 2017.
The winners were announced in Dublin on Thursday, October 3, with presentations to nine of Ireland’s top dairy farms by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.
Winners were accompanied by their family and received a prize of €5,000 and the coveted NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards perpetual cup. The judges for this year’s awards were Dr Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, Professor Pat Wall from UCD and, Dr David Gleeson from Teagasc. Chef and food writer Clodagh McKenna is once again Food Ambassador for the 2018 awards.
For each of the nine farms, the judges detail the combined fat and protein percent 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). These results certainly help in formulating the winning farms but a lot more detail and additional factors are of course considered.
Runner up of the NDC & @KerrygoldIRL Quality Milk Awards 2018 Tom, Mary & Michael Ryan, Co. Tipperary, Nominated by @CThurles Co-op https://t.co/ZM3sZ95DdS #madeforthis @KerrygoldIRL @ornua pic.twitter.com/ZTW8vimhFA— NationalDairyCouncil (@NDC_ie) October 3, 2018
Dr Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor of Irish Farmers Journal spoke on behalf of the national judging panel and thanked the farmers and co-ops for participating in the national awards, he said
“The Quality Milk Awards judging is one of the highlights of the year for the judging panel. We get to travel the length and breadth of Ireland and visit family farms that are delivering excellence every year. Nineteen farms were nominated this year and nine were short listed for a farm visit. These farms were located in 6 different counties from west Cork to Monaghan. The standard once again was exceptional and highlights the capacity of Irish family dairy farms to produce a high-quality product that is unique to Ireland. All farms are producing top quality milk solids and milk quality from facilities which are the ultimate in cleanliness and hygiene, which, is essential as the global consumer is raising the bar every year. There is no doubt Irish dairy farmers are also reaching new heights in a consistent and sustainable manner."
"We had a particularly strong level of entries this year and after careful consideration, the judges short-listed again, selecting nine national finalists who are represented in the room today, whose farms they have all physically visited and inspected," he added.