Brothers bag milk award
Two brothers from just north of Dungarvan in Co Waterford scooped a prize of €5,000 in the National Dairy Council Quality Milk Awards yesterday.
Glanbia suppliers Kevin and John Walsh milk 130 spring-calving cows 600 feet above Dungarvan Bay at Kilnafrehan West.
They were presented with the NDC Perpetual Cup and a cheque by special guest Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh at the ceremony in Citywest, Co Dublin. The somatic cell count (SCC) for 2009 averaged out at 138,000.
The NDC Quality Milk Awards aims to build awareness about farmers who are behind local dairy brands.
The overall runners-up and all-year-round supply top category award were Robert and Shirley Shannon, Droumgarriffe, Ballinascarthy, Co. Cork. The judge's special recognition award for care of the environment went to Billy and Deirdre Connor, Crossmolina, Co Mayo, and Sean and Mary Hurley, Ballintemple, Co Wicklow.
Professor Patrick Wall, representing the judging panel, said: "The winners in the NDC Quality Milk Awards are proof you can achieve top quality milk production standards in a way that is compatible with commercial viability. These farmers are role models for all of us, showing that you can achieve excellent quality standards by doing relatively simple things well."
Helen Brophy, chief executive of the NDC said that it is involved in a lot of work behind the scenes with its dairy members in areas ranging from keeping up to speed with health claims legislation at EU level, to monitoring new medical or scientific research breakthroughs related to dairy.
She said: "We are living in a society where 42pc of Irish teenage girls and nearly one-fifth of Irish teenage boys have inadequate calcium intake."