Waterford farmers living "the best way of life" win top award

Glanbia Ireland nominated Dungarvan family win Best SCC award at the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards in Dublin

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A Waterford farm has won a top award at the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards in Dublin.

Nominated by Glanbia Ireland, John Patrick Keating and his family from Crobally, Old Parish, Dungarvan,  took the Best SCC prize.

John and Yvonne Keating have two children, Aimee and Chloe, and live on their farm in Dungarvan with John’s mother, Cait. John grew up on the farm and took it over from his father. “It doesn’t happen overnight - we are ten years at this,” John said.

“Quality is very important to me in everything I do and I aim that everything on my farm is completed to top quality.

“We try and keep the farm organised and efficient, which makes it simpler to run. We have a good team on the farm between our family and Tom and Daniel - everyone is involved,” John said.

The Keating farm has a herd size of 160 and a milk supply of 810,589. John enjoys dairy farming as the routine suits family life. “Sea breezes, views, the cows and the fresh air – it’s the best way of life,” he continued.

What defines the future success of the farm for John is that it can be passed successfully onto the next generation. “My advice to young dairy farmers is to drive on – don’t wait! Take the opportunities and chances when you are young,” he added.

The NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards has been running since 1996 and celebrates excellence in Irish dairy farming. The country’s top prize for best quality milk was awarded to Darran and Denise McKenna from County Monaghan. 

The winners were announced in Dublin on Wednesday with presentations to nine of Ireland’s top dairy farms by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed. The winners were accompanied by their families, receiving a prize of €5,000 and the coveted NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards perpetual cup.

The judges for this year’s awards were dairy editor of the Irish Farmers Journal Dr Jack Kennedy, Professor Pat Wall from UCD and Dr David Gleeson from Teagasc. Chef and food writer Clodagh McKenna was once again food ambassador for the 2018 awards.