Top Quality Milk Award for Knockainey’s McNamaras

John McNamara with his sons Conor and Pádraic.

Ornua and the National Dairy Council have announced John McNamara and family, from Knockainey supply-ing Kerry Agribusiness, as the overall winner of the 2023 NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards.
The McNamaras were announced as winners of the prestigious awards at a special ceremony held in Ballymaloe House in Co. Cork where a total of 14 farming families from seven counties, repres-enting 14 dairy co-opera-tives, were acknowledged for excellence in dairy farming and milk pro-duction.
It is the culmination of an award-littered career in agriculture for John McNamara, from FBD Young Farmer of the Year in 2005, Farmyard of the Year in 2009, Grassland Farmer of the Year in 2018 and now the NDC Kerrygold National Quality Milk in 2023.
The McNamara farm is a collective family effort with John and his wife Olivia and four children Ailbhe, Caoimhe, Conor and Pádraic all playing their part in the award winning enterprise
Following nomination from their respective co-operative, each finalist participated in an intensive judging process examining a broad range of criteria including environmental management, animal health and welfare, farm infrastructure and hygiene, soil and grassland management and technical performance, among other core indicators.
The McNamaras were recognised among their peers for demonstrating high standards of excellence across the board and accepted the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards perpetual cup for 2023.
“I am surprised and shocked, it is a great honour to bring an All-Ireland back to Knock-ainey” John McNamara told the Vale Star this Wednesday. “We have pride and passion in what we do, a consumer product we produce today and on the kitchen table tomorrow morning,” he added.
Commenting on the awards, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, said: “The NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards recognise the exceptionally high standards in dairy farming practice that Irish farming families exhibit every day across the country. My sincere congratulations go to the 2023 overall winner, the McNamara family, on their success in reaching the pinnacle of this year’s programme. To be recognised by your own co-operative as a nominee is in itself a fantastic achievement, so all of the 14 finalists can be immensely proud of this recognition, and I wish them all continued success.”
A total of seven category awards were also presented to families who recorded outstanding performance in environment manage-ment, EBI, farm infras-tructure, adoption of technologies, grassland management, protein and butter fat content, and low carbon footprint.
This year’s judging panel included Karina Pierce, Professor of Dairy Production in University College Dublin School of Agriculture and Food Science, Dr Patrick Wall, Professor of Public Health at University College Dublin and Dr David Gleeson of Teagasc.
The McNamaras were accorded a huge welcome home by family, friends and the wider Knockainey community this Tuesday evening.