Mayo farmer honoured for 'extraordinary' contribution to Holstein-Friesian breeding

John Cunnane with his daughter Tara after receiving the National Recognition award,
John Cunnane with his daughter Tara after receiving the National Recognition award,

Martin Ryan

A lifetime of dedication to breeding dairy animals which have achieved recognition in Ireland, Britain and Germany was honoured at the 37th National Dairy Show at Millstreet, Co Cork.

The NDS National Recognition Award 2019 was presented to Mayo dairy breeder, John Cunnane who says that he has been milking cow "nearly since I was born".

Over the decades, John has bred Holstein-Friesian bulls that have earned him fame far and wide.

John was presented with the award by Seamus Crowley, Assistant Director, National Dairy Show. The award is presented annually to a breeder who is recognised by his peers to have made an exceptional contribution to the dairy breed over a lifetime.

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The Lynbrook herd at Ballyhaunis has bred several show winners and price toppers over the decades, but the purchase of Lynbrook bulls by AI centres in Britain and Germany earned the herd international recognition. "I don't know why I have got this award, I'm just an ordinary farmer," said John, who spent a decade in the USA in his earlier years before returning to full-time farming in Co Mayo in the mid 1970s.

He keeps a herd of 60 Holstein-Friesian cows and continues to breed, exhibit and sell bulls with the Lynbrook breed highly respected among dairy farmers.

Show Director,John Kirby described John's contribution to dairy breeding as "extraordinary".

John Cunnane with his daughter Tara after receiving the National Recognition award at the National Dairy Show

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