The award was presented to Walsh by Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, at a ceremony in the Clayton Silver Springs Hotel in Cork city last Friday night (May 26).
Walsh, from Ballylomasna, Ballylooby, Cahir, Co. Tipperary, runs a dairy farm with his wife Maria and children, Brendan, Claire and Helena. They have a 110-cow herd on a milk platform of 53ha. In addition, a beef enterprise is run on the farm. The Walsh family plans to expand to 150 cows in 2018.
The awards were judged on 2016 milk quality data for all 3,000 Dairygold milk suppliers from counties Cork, Tipperary, Clare and Limerick.
It was declared by the judges that while all 18 finalists showed “exceptional quality”, the Walsh farm was an “excellent example of what good management and high standards of production can achieve”.
Dairygold Chairman, James Lynch, congratulated the Walsh family, saying: “John is an excellent farmer with well-kept facilities and a keen awareness of the importance of hygiene, safety and sustainability.
He is a very deserving winner and we wish John, his wife Maria and their children every success for the future.
Dairygold Milk Quality Awards
In terms of the awards set-up, the three best milk suppliers were selected from each of the six Dairygold regions to form a shortlist of 18 finalists.
The selected farmers were then assessed by two independent judges – Dr. Karina Pierce, University College Dublin and Don Crowley, Teagasc dairy specialist.
The adjudicators visited each of the shortlisted farms to review their individual set-ups. The review looked at the topics of Milk Quality, Dairy Facilities, Herd Health and Welfare, Sustainability and General Efficiencies and Farm Health and Safety.
The judges decided on six regional winners and one overall winner, which was announced on the night.