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HomeDairyVet, cheesemaker & animal health-oriented dairy farmer among high achievers recognised
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Vet, cheesemaker & animal health-oriented dairy farmer among high achievers recognised

17 titles were presented at the National Dairy Awards at the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise last Thursday night, June 15th, 2023.

The black-tie gala event celebrated the high achievers that continue to “develop and strengthen” the Irish dairy industry.

As previously reported by in this news article, Vicky Kelleher received the Overall National Dairy Award and Carbery Dairy Farm Manager of the Year Awards from Ivan Yates and Cormac O’Keeffe, chairman of Carbery Group.

Other winners included Lorcan McCabe, Jack Kearney, Sophie Bell, Pasture Apprentices, Niall Moloney and Farmer Time, which you can read about via this news article.

In part two of this article, we provide you with the names of other award winners.

Dairy herd health
  • Laura Hannon was crowned AHV Ireland Animal Health Dairy Farmer of the year for 2023. Laura farms alongside her father and two employees, milking 330 cows and rearing 80 heifers and 80 calves. Their entry was particularly interesting for their collaborative work with vets to create a herd health plan that is “practical and relevant”. The initiative sought to recognise and reward the excellence of Irish dairy farmers who are currently achieving high standards of animal health. Laura was presented her trophy by Adam Robinson, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, for AHV International.
Artisan produce, fruit whey drinks & farm sustainability learning hub
  • Mimi Crawford of Crawford’s Farm was crowned Best Artisan Product 2023 (non-cheese) for 2023. Crawford’s Raw Butter is nestled just outside the village of Cloughjordan in North County Tipperary. The farmers are a diverse, small, certified organic farm with a micro-dairy of 12 Irish Shorthorn and Irish Moiled cows producing raw butter. This award celebrates the exceptional producers of non-cheese artisanal dairy products who have demonstrated exceptional craftsmanship, innovation, and creativity in producing high-quality dairy products using traditional methods and techniques. Catherine Keena of Teagasc presented the Best Artisan Product (Non-Cheese) Award at the National Dairy Awards to Mimi Crawford, Crawford’s Farm, Tipperary
  • Tullahay Farm and their Fruit Whey Drinks won the IFAC Best Dairy Product Innovation award. Tullahay Farm has introduced a new innovative dairy product and have shown that there is a viable market in Ireland for liquid whey drinks. Whey makes its product unique as they are the first to market in Ireland. The award recognises the dairy product innovations that add value to milk, such as new and improved processing methods or innovative products, demonstrating excellence in creativity, sustainability, and market success. Noreen Lacey, head of banking, IFAC, presented the IFAC Best Dairy Product Innovation to Rosemary O’Shea, Tullahay Farm, Tipperary for Fresh Whey drink with Apple Juice at the National Dairy Awards.
  • Bord Bia – The Farm Sustainability Learning Hub was awarded the Calor Best Dairy Sustainability initiative of the year. Origin Green is the Bord Bia sustainability programme. It is the only one in the world which operates at a national level, and which includes farmers and primary producers, processors and retailers working together and leading the way to create a better future for all involved. Dairy industry leaders who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to sustainability through innovative and effective practices and initiatives, reducing environmental impact, ensuring animal welfare, and supporting long-term industry viability, are recognised by this award. David Austin, Regional Sales Manager with Calor, presented Eleanor Murphy, Bord Bia Data &Analytics Manager for Sustainability and Quality Assurance from Bord Bia with the award.
Vet, cheese makers & tech-oriented dairy farm
  • Michael Piggott, who claimed the Boehringer Dairy Vet of the Year Award, works out of Millstreet Veterinary Group. He qualified from U.C.D in 1978 and, after working in mixed practice in various parts of the country for a few years, felt the call to return to his hometown of Millstreet. Having grown up on a dairy farm, Michael’s main interest has always been cattle medicine. The award pays tribute to a dairy veterinarian who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to animal health and welfare, providing innovative and effective solutions to the challenges facing the dairy industry. Michael received the Boehringer Ingelheim Dairy Vet of the Year award from Findlay MacBean, Head of Business: Livestock Uk & Ireland with Boehringer Ingelheim.
  • Wexford farm, Pollard’s Farm, represented by Kevin O’Hanlon, was crowned Herdwatch Tech Innovator Dairy Farmer of the year. Pollard’s Farm in Ballywilliam has a range of innovative technology, including collars on the cows, a geo spreader, dribble bar on the back of the tanker, solar panels and wind turbines, which all improve efficiencies and save labour throughout the year, according to farm manager, Kevin O’Hanlon. The award recognises dairy farmers who have embraced technology changes and demonstrated outstanding innovation and leadership in the adoption of new technology on their farms. Kevin O’Hanlon received the award on behalf of Pollard’s Farm from Fabien Peyaud, CEO & Co-Founder, Herdwatch.
  • Waterford company, Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese, was crowned Bank of Ireland Best Artisan Cheese for 2023. Knockanore Oakwood Smoked Mature Cheddar is the product that won over the judges. The farm has been producing raw milk cheddar cheese on the family farm since 1987 and, over the years, has developed its award-winning recipe for raw milk mature cheddar cheese. The successful nominees for this honour are the best of the best in the artisan cheese industry, having demonstrated exceptional craftsmanship, innovation, and creativity in producing high-quality artisanal cheeses. Edward was presented his trophy by Eoin Lowry, Head of Agriculture with Bank of Ireland.

Dairy Leader

Jason Hawkins picked up the Agri Insider Dairy Leader of the Year Award for his contribution to the dairy industry over the last 25 years, while Dairygold picked up the Business Post Best Dairy Producer / Co-op of the year award.

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