Noel Hickey was a noted achiever on the country's hurling fields but last week Kilkenny's nine-time All-Ireland winning fullback harvested an honour with a difference when he took the Glanbia quality grain grower award for 2014.
The Dunamaggin clubman farms 350ac or owned and rented land with his wife Elaine and two children. He supplies winter barley, food grade oats and malting barley on contract to Glanbia.
He also grows winter wheat and spring beans as part of his rotation. His award-winning crop of Barra food grade oats had a KPH of 58.3, moisture 16.3pc and protein of 10.3 pc.
Complimenting Noel Hickey and the other award winners, Colm Eustace of Glanbia said the company was "fortunate to have such high-quality grain producers."
"They are comparable to the best in the world and are well positioned to compete on an international stage," Mr Eustace said.
Noel, along with Elaine Hickey, is pictured left recveiving the the award from Rob O'Keeffe, Glanbia Agribusiness Marketing manager; James Hickey, Glanbia Business manager and Liam Herlihy, Glanbia Chairman.