Thursday 22 March 2018

“Farming is our passion” – Clodagh McKenna cooks with the Crowleys in West Cork

A new generation is already firmly well on the way towards forging further farming success at the Crowley dairy farm in the beautiful surroundings of West Cork.

In true Irish style, the five children of Michael and Marguerite Crowley are each already playing a huge role on the farm and they have been since as long as they can remember.

Michael and Marguerite don’t take their legacy or the future for granted.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite. “Everything we do, we try to do it the very best way we can, so the next generation – our children - see an example of how it should be done”, explains Michael.

The couple, who farm 86.2 hectares at Bauraville Upper, Skibbereen, Co. Cork are 3rd generation farmers. Like other farmers all over Ireland, for them, Irish farming is more than just a business – it’s a way of life. They learned their craft from their parents and grandparents before them and are now emulating that again and so the tradition continues.

“Farming is our passion – it’s not all about money”

“It isn’t all about money. Farming is our passion and we’re glad to say that our whole family is involved on a daily basis and love it too”, says Michael. He and Marguerite have five children – Brendan, Michelle, Aishling, Gavin and Colm.

The attention to detail and hard work of this family has already scooped one Drinagh Milk Quality Award for their farm as well as the overall Carbery Milk Quality Award for 2015. With a herd size of 146, their average herd yield is 5,616 with an average monthly milk supply of 70,759.

This family was one of the NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards Finalist and took home the award for Best Percentage Solids in the Excellence in Dairy category at this year's awards.

TV chef Clodagh Cooks with the Crowleys

TV Chef and cookbook author Clodagh McKenna has joined as a food ambassador for the National Dairy Council and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards.  The other judges on the panel for 2017 are Professor Pat Wall from UCD; Dr. David Gleeson from Teagasc and Dr. Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal.

Clodagh recently visited the Crowley family in West Cork to hear their family story first-hand.  She joined Marguerite in the kitchen where they teamed up and did what Clodagh does best! – created lunch together.  Clodagh cooked her popular Smoked Haddock chowder while Marguerite baked a batch of her farmhouse brown bread, a recipe that was passed down to her from her mother and which got the thumbs up from Clodagh.

A passionate advocate of quality Irish dairy produce, Clodagh was thrilled to see this family farm first-hand: “As an Irish chef working abroad, Irish dairy produce has a superb reputation for quality in global markets. In Ireland, many of us take it for granted that we have countryside with so many fields of grass – but our green countryside is a tremendous asset because the pasture-based model of dairy farming is a vital ingredient for the success of Irish dairy produce all over the world”.

Each of the finalists in this years awards have been visited by the judges over the past two months and have undergone a rigorous 12-month scrutiny. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Dublin on October 4th. 

This year’s finalists

In addition to the Crowley farm the other finalists include David and Kathleen Boland from Horseleap, Moate, Co. Westmeath; Patrick and Shona Crotty, Kilbaha South, Co. Clare; Gerard and Kathleen Doyle and family Pilton, Co. Kilkenny; Declan and Alison Finn, Newtown, Charleville, Co. Cork; Sean and Mary Hegarty, Whites Cross, Co. Cork; Padraig, John and Gertrude Keane, Kilcormac, Co. Offaly; Sean and Marie Lynch, Moville, Co. Donegal; John, Niall and Carol Mason, Ballyseedy, Tralee, Co. Kerry; Eamonn and Patricia McMahon, Stranooden, Co. Monaghan; Norman and Elma Perrott, Bandon, Co. Cork; Robert and Shirley Shannon, Clonakilty, Co. Cork; Philip, Nicky and Dolores Thornton, Cashel, Co. Tipperary

The overall winners were John and Maria Walsh, Cahir, Co. Tipperary.

Dairy co-operatives throughout the country were invited to nominate their top suppliers for the awards. The farms nominated for the annual awards had a detailed assessment by an expert judging panel based on milk quality test results and technical reports spanning a full 12 month period in order to select a short-list of finalists.

Go to to meet the 2017 National Dairy Council and Kerrygold Finalists and to find out more about the awards and read more about each finalist.


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