November 24, 2010
The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) hosted the inaugural IDB Dairy Farmer of the Year awards at a luncheon on Monday, 22 November, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin.
The awards, six in category, were set up to recognise the inherent attributes of Irish dairy farmers supplying quality milk to the dairy industry here. The IDB sees this competition as an important indicator of the knowledge base and husbandry of dairy farmers in Ireland.
From the shortlist of ten finalists, the overall recipients were Noel and Bernadette O’Toole from Killimor, Co. Galway. Located between Portumna and Loughrea, Noel and Bernadette built up their dairy herd over the past five years from 75 to the current 125 cows (spring calving), consisting of Friesian and Jersey cross-breeds. In total the family farm 61 ha. of land. The farm has a quota of close on 530,000 litres with a herd average EBI of €105. Noel is a member of the Killimor, East Clare and Grass Roots dairy discussion group.
Commenting on the Awards, CEO Kevin Lane said
“The skillset and animal husbandry of Irish dairy farmers is of key importance in developing efficient dairy farms. The quality, purity and integrity of Irish milk are a fundamental pre-requisite when it comes to marketing and developing routes to market for Irish dairy products. Each of this year’s finalists has displayed an outstanding ability to manage and grow their businesses and to plan for the future. The finalists displayed an enthusiasm for developing world class dairy farms that are focused on producing quality milk for food manufacture by embracing the very best technical advice and applying it on their farms. We are proud to be associated with these high standards.”
The Ten Finalists included: –
West and Overall winner – Noel & Bernadette O’Toole (Co. Galway)
South – Pat & Olive Weeks (Co. Limerick)
East – Padraig & Miriam Hyland (Co. Laois)
Development Categories –
Danny & Yvonne Bermingham (Co. Clare)
Michael & Eilish Walsh (Co. Cork)
Tom & Alice O’Sullivan (Co. Cork)
Sean & Ann Bugler (Co. Clare)
John, Bryan & Philip Daniels (Co. Kilkenny)
James & Carmel Croke (Co. Tipperary)
David & Triona Jennings (Co. Cork)