Cavan farmer wins top milk award
A family farm in Cavan has been named the top dairy farm of the year in the National Dairy Council and Kerrygold quality milk awards.
Milk from the farm of David and Kathleen Cassidy from Lisnagar, Cootehill, is supplied to Glanbia to make Baileys Irish Cream liquer. Mr Cassidy said winning the award was “more or less like winning the Sam Maguire for me”.
The family was presented with the award and €5,000 prize at Dublin’s RDS today by Kilkenny hurling All-Star Henry Shefflin. He is from a farming background and said the strides in innovation and technology made by farmers in recent years were “just amazing”.
National Dairy Council chief executive Zoe Kavanagh said the dairy industry was at a crucial time now as farmers prepared for the dismantling of the milk quota system. From 2015 farmers will be free to produce as much milk as they like. “And we are extremely well positioned to take advantage of the expansion . . . there’s no doubt agriculture is the poster child for our economic recovery,” she said.
Three other farmers won national category awards.
Brothers Danny and Patrick Cremin from Newcastlewest, Co Limerick, were named as are runners-up, while John Payne from Moydow, Co Longford, won an award for farm development.
Merle Tanner was the only woman placed in the top four. Farming in Coachford, Co Cork, she won the environmental award for the work she did in converting a pig farm to a dairy farm.
The awards also recognised five other national finalists: Noel Collins, Leap, Co Cork; Robert Groves, Tralee, Co Kerry; Patrick Guinan, Moate, Co Westmeath; Anne Maria Keane and Patrick Cotter, Listowel, Co Kerry; and Conor Murphy, Clonakilty, Co Cork.