Michael Creed, TD Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine with John and Maria Walsh with their three children, Claire and Helena and Brendan Walsh of Ballylooby, Cahir, Co Tipperary. (Picture: Clare Keogh)

The country’s top prize for best quality milk has been awarded to Tipperary’s John and Maria Walsh who farm at Ballylomasna, Ballylooby, Cahir and who supply their milk to Dairygold Co-op.  

The NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards has been running since 1996 and celebrates excellence in Irish dairy farming. The winners were announced in Dublin with presentations to 14 of Ireland’s top dairy farms by Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.

Winners John and Maria Walsh were accompanied by their family and received a prize of €5,000 and the coveted NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards perpetual cup.

The Walshs have three children, Brendan, Claire and Helena. They are the 6th generation of farmers to farm the land and take great pride in their work.

Attention to detail is paramount and all farm decisions are discussed as a family on a Saturday evening around the dinner table. Farm safety is key and something they are very passionate about.

“Safety is a word we cannot stop talking about. The attention to detail is something that everyone on this farm takes pride in. We believe that if our standards drop, the quality of our product will do likewise,” they said.

“We are always looking for new ways of improving. Many of the decisions on this farm are discussed at the dinner table, when everyone is home and can have their say.”