Search icon


03rd Sep 2020

Rewarding Passion: Patrick Wall visits the award-winning McKenna farm in Monaghan

Brian Dillon

Rewarding Passion: Patrick Wall visits the award-winning Mckenna farm in Monaghan

The NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards recognises and celebrates the top quality milk farmers in Ireland, and the McKenna farm in Monaghan run by Darran McKenna was crowned the overall winner in 2018.

“I’m just doing what every other Irish farmer does – looks after his cows as best he can and gives them plenty of nice green grass.”

Darran and his family welcome Patrick Wall to their farm. Patrick is a world-renowned expert in food safety and member of the European Food Safety Authority. With a wealth of experience in academia, he served on the 2008 Beijing Olympics committee on food safety controls and has judged Ireland’s NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards for the past thirteen years.

Darran explains how much of an honour it was to win the award. He points out how dairy farming is more than just producing great-quality milk. According to Darran, it’s also “the relationship you have with the land and with the animals.”

“I don’t think you could win it without passion or dedication,” Darran adds.

Darran is the fifth generation to run this farm, which supplies top-quality milk for Kerrygold, and he explains how important family values are in milk farming:

“It’s up to me to make sure I look after it and pass it onto the next generation, hopefully, one of my own children.

“It’s not a thing you learn overnight. You pass that skill on. It’s no different than teaching children table manners.”

When visiting the farm, Patrick chats with Darran about that passion, love and dedication that goes into a family-run farm like this, and Patrick points out how Darren is a role model for other farmers in Ireland.

Darran’s family farm was recognised among others for their great milk, passion, dedication and love for the process. And that’s the ‘Kerrygold difference‘.