Westport farmer is Connacht Gold Quality Milk Supplier of the Year

At the presentation of the Connacht Gold Milk Quality Awards on the banks of the Shannon in Carrick-on-Shannon were, from left: Aaron Forde, chief executive Connacht Gold; Ann and Michael Lyons, winners of the overall award; guest of honour, Dr Sean Brady, chairman Food Harvest 2020; and Padraig Gibbons, chairman Connacht Gold.

At the presentation of the Connacht Gold Milk Quality Awards on the banks of the Shannon in Carrick-on-Shannon were, from left: Aaron Forde, chief executive Connacht Gold; Ann and Michael Lyons, winners of the overall award; guest of honour, Dr Sean Brady, chairman Food Harvest 2020; and Padraig Gibbons, chairman Connacht Gold.

Westport dairy farmer Michael Lyons has won the top award in the Connacht Gold Milk Quality Awards. Mr Lyons came top of the class among the 875 milk producers who supplied Connacht Gold in 2010.

Mr Lyons, who runs a 30-cow herd at Ballyburke with his wife Ann, was presented with the prestigious overall award by Dr Sean Brady, Chairman of Food Harvest 2020. They have two children, William and Christina.

Another Mayo milk supplier, Patrick O’Dowd, who farms at Rathbane, Foxford, was presented with the award for the highest level of protein in milk supplied to Connacht Gold in 2010. Mr O’Dowd, with his wife Margaret and daughter Kathryn, runs a high yielding herd of 25 cows. They also run a suckler herd on the 80-acre farm.

The awards, which are sponsored by Progressive Genetics, recognise excellence in all areas of milk production. A total of six outstanding achievement awards were presented.

Connacht Gold chief executive Aaron Forde said the award winners epitomise the substantial improvements made by the co-op’s suppliers in milk quality in recent years.

“Since we introduced the new milk payment system and installed new laboratories, the number of suppliers receiving bonuses for top quality has continued to increase. I want to commend all our suppliers on their magnificent response. This has contributed to Connacht Gold’s repeated strong performance in the annual KPMG independently-audited milk price league,” he said.

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