Local farm family is best in class at prestigious national dairy awards

After being nominated by Arrabawn, the Toohey family, based near Cloughjordan on the Offaly/Tipperary border, won an award in the ‘Best in Class Technical Performance’ category at the 2022 NDC & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards. Photo: Clare Keogh .

The Toohey family from South Offaly, on the border with Tipperary, won a category award at the 2022 National Dairy Council & Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards.

The family, based in Cullenwaine, between Moneygall and Cloughjordan, were announced this week as winners of the ‘Best in Class Technical Performance’ category at the prestigious awards, which recognize and celebrate the highest standards of excellence in dairy farming in Ireland.

Eoin and Colette Toohey have four sons, David, Killian, Brian and Cathal. Eoin’s father bought the land in 1971 and Eoin and Colette have been farming it since 2001.

Second-generation farmers, Toohey’s operation is a family business through and through. The family still farms Colette’s land, 20 miles away, and owns and operates a fully functional heifer and beef business in North Kilkenny.

The Tooheys, who were nominated by Arrabawn, were among just 13 families to take home ‘best in class’ awards at the event held at Ballyvolane House, Co Cork on Wednesday. The Connelly family from Tuam in Galway were named the big winners.

The 13 finalists underwent a robust and detailed independent assessment by a panel of experts including Professor Pat Wall, Professor of Public Health at UCD, Dr David Gleeson, Livestock Systems Researcher at Teagasc, and Dr Jack Kennedy, Deputy Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal.

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue said for farming families to be recognized by their own peers and their own co-op was a huge honour.

“The success achieved by winners and nominees stems from a lifetime of excellence and continuous improvement in dairy farming. On behalf of the industry, I thank all of the nominees and winners for what they have accomplished,” he said.