05 Jul 2022

Offaly farming family scoops major national dairy award


Dairy farmers PJ, Peter Jnr. and Donal Grogan, Leamore, Tullamore were declared Best New Entrants to Dairying at the Lakeland Dairies Milk Quality Awards

A dairy farming family from Offaly has been announced as Best New Entrants to Dairying at the presitigous Lakeland Dairies Milk Quality Awards.

PJ, Peter Jnr. and Donal Grogan, Leamore, Tullamore were presented with the major award by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue

Farm families in Monaghan, Westmeath, Cavan, Meath, Fermanagh, Down, Tyrone, Armagh and Antrim as well as Offaly won awards for the highest quality milk.

The Milk Quality Awards are public recognition of the achievements of Lakeland Dairies’ milk suppliers who are committed to quality in all aspects of their milk production.

Winning a milk quality award is a truly excellent achievement. The winners emerged from among 3,200 farm families across 16 counties who produce milk for the 2bn litres Lakeland Dairies milk pool.

The awards were presented by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue with Lakeland Dairies Chairman Niall Matthews and Group Chief Executive Michael Hanley at a special event on Thursday last.

Speaking at the awards, Minister McConalogue said: “To win an award where you are recognised by your own co-op for having produced a top-quality product is a truly remarkable achievement. Producing high-quality milk is not something that is done overnight. It is a lifetime’s achievement and the result of a commitment to excellence every time you step into the parlour and every breeding decision you make.

“I commend all the Lakeland Dairies farm families who are the bedrock of a hugely impressive cross-border operation. The co-op is a shining beacon of sustainably exporting world-class products across the globe.  Sustainability is a key priority for the Lakeland Dairies farm families and the entire co-op and I pay tribute to this drive for continuous improvement. Both I and the rest of the Government will back this sustainability agenda while continuing to support the production of world-class food.”

The Supreme Champions of the Lakeland Dairies Milk Quality Awards are William and Alan Nicholson, Drumacrib, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan. They claimed the accolade for the exceptionally high quality of milk produced on their farm throughout the past year.

In addition to the Supreme Champions, Lakeland Dairies also announced winners in the other categories of the Milk Quality Awards.

>500,000 Litre Category Winners

The Nicholsons also took home the >500,000 litre producer category award in the Republic of Ireland.
The highly commended runners-up in the >500,000 litre producer category were Richard and Joan Greene, Killeen, Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath.
<500,000 Litre Category Winners

Sean Higgins, Trim, Co. Meath, was the winner of the <500,000 litre producer category.
Micheal Smith, Lishenry, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan was the highly commended runner-up in the <500,000 producer category.
Sustainability Award Winners

Rosemary and David Moran, Glasson, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, won the Lakeland Dairies Sustainability Award for their outstanding commitment to sustainable milk production and environmental and economic sustainability.

Best New Entrants

Lakeland Dairies has welcomed over 350 new milk producers to the co-operative in recent years.

Dairy farmers PJ, Peter Jnr. and Donal Grogan, Leamore, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, were declared winners of the Republic of Ireland Best New Entrant Category.
Kevin and John McDonnell, Brookeboro, Co. Fermanagh won the Northern Ireland Best New Entrant Category, for their high quality of milk supplied to Lakeland Dairies.
Northern Ireland

>1m Litre Category Winners

John Morrow and Scott Davidson, Gilnahirk, Co. Down, won the >1m litre milk producer category in Northern Ireland.
Fred and David Liggett, Stewartstown, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone were highly commended runners-up in the >1m litre producer category of the awards in Northern Ireland
<1m Litre Category Winners

William and Robert McCrum, Markethill, Co. Armagh won the <1m litre producer category in Northern Ireland.
Harry, Lex and Alastair Campbell, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim were highly commended runners-up in the <1m litre producer category in Northern Ireland.
Lakeland Dairies Chairman, Niall Matthews paid tribute to the award winners: “Dairy farmers produce the 2 billion litres of wholesome milk that we use to create a diverse range of dairy products for our customers worldwide. Dairy farming crosses the generations, creating a livelihood for families while contributing to rural economic development and environmental sustainability. We are proud of the high quality of our milk pool as exemplified by the winners of the Lakeland Dairies milk quality awards. I congratulate all of our dairy farmers for their achievements and for their excellent ongoing contribution to our farmer owned dairy co-operative.”

Lakeland Dairies Group CEO Michael Hanley said: “The population of the world relies on the quality and integrity of the global food supply chain from farm to fork. This demand continues to grow and dairy provides the solution. Quality and sustainability are the building blocks of our entire business and this underpins the trust that our customers and consumers place in us. The milk producers of Lakeland Dairies have always met this responsibility with great dedication. I’m delighted to pay tribute to their achievements as we recognise our milk quality award winners.”

Michael Hanley added, “Despite higher costs, those farmers who have continued to spread fertiliser and to feed cows as normal, are being handsomely and profitably rewarded with the record high milk prices throughout this year.”

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