Gearoid and Sarah Maher from Killuragh, Cappamore, Co. Limerick are the overall winners of the 2021 Dairygold Milk Quality Awards and regional winners of the best quality milk supply to Dairygold last year.
Gearoid farms in partnership with his wife Sarah with a herd of 80 Pedigree Friesian cows. The herd produced 500kg milk solids per cow in 2021 with an average Somatic Cell Count (SCC) of 118 and Total Bacterial Count (TBC) of 9. The attention to detail across all aspects of the farm business was clearly demonstrated in the achievement of the excellent results in this year’s awards.
Gearoid and Sarah’s efforts across the farm to show how nature and farming can work side by side really stood out to the judges. Gearoid is a Farming for Nature Ambassador and is also involved in an EIP project focused on water quality. In addition, they have implemented various sustainability measures on the farm such as nitrogen reduction on the platform, the use of selective dry cow therapy and abstaining from pesticide application for two years.
The Limerick region was also home to this year’s Sustainability Milk Quality Award winners Liam and Geraldine Herlihy of Kingsland, Bruree, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. The Sustainability Award recognises the efforts of Dairygold milk suppliers in making their operations more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. The Herlihys were one of the Dairygold ambassadors and pilot farms for the Leanfarm programme when it was first launched and continue to utilise its principles and ideas on a daily basis. The Herlihys have put a huge emphasis on soil quality on the farm and have put water preservation, clover inclusion and water harvesting protocols in place.