Kieran and Ann Hearne are milking 190 cows and supply milk to Glanbia. They were announced as the winners of the NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards at a special awards ceremony in Dublin on Wednesday which was attended by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.
“The NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards celebrate what is truly special about Ireland – our unique way of farming, coupled with the passion our farmers have in producing the best-quality milk in the world.
“The environment which we operate in is ever-changing and while we face significant challenges, it is important to celebrate our dairy farmers who continue to strive for excellence. It’s their hard work and dedication that forms the foundation of success for our industry,” Creed said.
Kieran is big into dairy breeding and a number of bulls born on the farm which have been sold into AI under the Curra prefix, with Curra Fionn one of the top EBI AI sires available at the moment.
His herd EBI is among the top in the country at €184, but the focus remains on EBI with replacement stock averaging €227 for the heifer calves.
Last year, the herd produced 503kg MS/cow from 1,000kg of meal. Quality figures are impressive with TBC averaging 9,000 cells/ml and SCC averaging 72,000 cells/ml. Protein averaged 3.72% and fat averaged 4.55%.
Kieran is a true ambassador for Irish dairy
Recently, the Hearnes have installed automatic calf feeders to help with workload at the busy time of the year in spring. Whole milk is pumped to a reception tank in the calf shed to minimise waste and workload.
Commenting on the winners CEO of Ornua John Jordan said: “Kieran is a true ambassador for Irish dairy – not only is he dedicated to producing top-quality milk, but he also demonstrated his commitment to sustainable dairy farming.
"The pride, passion and dedication of our farmers is the vital ingredient to the success of the Kerrygold brand worldwide.”