Eight Aurivo milk suppliers from seven counties were recognised for their excellence in milk production at the annual Aurivo Milk Quality Awards. Here, we hear from two of them on how they reached the standard that won them the top awards.

Best performing Donegal supplier – John Speer
John started off with 12 cows and built it up over the year. “We have changed the parlour twice, changed the tank three times and we are now milking 190 cows at the minute. The parlour seems to be going well. I put in automatic cluster movers this year. I find them a good job. We have invested a lot over the years, anything we got we put it back into the farm again.”

His advice to new entrants is to not would be afraid, work away at it and stick at it.

John Speer, Ramelton, Donegal

John Speer, Ramelton, Donegal

“Breeding is very important. Feeding is also important for keeping solids up. Especially in times of wet weather.

“The better the quality of milk, the better your solids will be the better the price you get for your milk so it obviously effects your profitability.”

Lowest TBC manufacturing milk – Edward Mannion

“My TBC is low because I have a simple 6-unit plant.

“When I finish milking I rinse the plant with 10 gallons of water. Then I wash it with a hydrosyn cold wash. I leave the wash in the plant until the next milking and I rinse the plant angina before I start.

Edward Mannion, Westport, Mayo

Edward Mannion, Westport, Mayo

“Milk is at its highest quality leaving the cow. So to minimise the risk of it getting contaminated. Don’t wash cows unless they are extremely dirty and then if you wash them you have to dry them.

“The milk is cooled rapidly and I have a direct expansion tank.” His advice to others it to maintain the plant, change liners once a year, change the main rubber every second year.