Two progressive Mayo farming families have been recognised for dairy farming excellence at the 16th annual Aurivo Milk Quality Awards.
The awards ceremony saw the highest accolade of Aurivo Milk Supplier of the Year presented to Mayo dairy farmer, Michael Gordon, who operates a family-run dairy farm in Crossmolina.
Michael was recognised by judges for his dedication to animal welfare, excellent milk quality, and sustainable farming practices.
Michael has been farming in Crossmolina since 1998 and converted from beef to dairying in 2018.
He now milks 75 cross-bred cows on 50 hectares with his wife, Ita, and their children, Emily, Kevin, Ciara, and Aoife.
The family take great pride in their herd and practises the highest standards of animal welfare from calf to cow.
Michael will now represent Aurivo at the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards, which sets out to celebrate the best milk suppliers in Ireland.
In addition to the overall award, Michael received the Excellence in Udder Health award, to which he credits this success to his continuous and close monitoring of his herd’s cell count.
Michael utilises data available to eliminate the spread of infection by using culture and sensitivity testing to ensure cows receive the correct treatment and reduce the use of antibiotics on-farm.
Dolan Farming Ltd
Also taking home a top prize was Dolan Farming Ltd, a fifth-generation family farm in Hollymount run by Louis, his wife Bernie, and their son David.
They were recognised for their continuous focus on sustainability and the farm’s low emission trajectory at this year’s Annual Aurivo Milk Quality Awards.
Louis credits the champion of sustainability award to their focus on crossbreeding to produce high protein and fat output, which allows them to have less reliance on feed.
The family have also reduced the use of nitrogen on the farm by using protected urea, and 30% of their grazing platform has clover included, to which they hope to increase this year-on-year.
Other sustainable farming practices utilised by the Dolans include rainwater harvesting and biological pest control by the way of owl boxes.