Farmer Paschal Walsh from Edenderry is in with a shot of winning the "Sam Maguire of Farming" after being nominated for this year's National Dairy Council (NDC) Quality Milk Awards by Glanbia.
Eighteen dairy farms representing 13 counties have been nominated for the awards, which set out to identify Ireland's top dairy farmer.
"These 18 dairy farms can already be considered the cream of the crop," explains Chief Executive of the NDC Zoë Kavanagh. "Many of the co-ops who nominate dairy farmers for this competition select their top farmers each year from a supplier base of literally thousands of farmers. Securing a nomination for this award is, in its own right, a recognition of top quality farming by the nominating co-op. All of the farmers nominated should be proud of this achievement - we're certainly delighted with the standard of entries."
A judging panel made up of Associate Professor of Public Health at UCD Paddy Wall, Teagasc's Dr David Gleeson and Dairy Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal Dr Jack Kennedy is expected to select a shortlist of finalists towards the end of this month. National judges will then visit these farms and combine this with technical data to choose an overall national winner.
The overall winning farmer will receive a prize of Ä5,000 and the National Dairy Council Quality Milk Awards perpetual trophy.