Every face and form of excellence deserves recognition in order to spark inspiration. In light of this, the Department of Agriculture-National Dairy Authority (DA-NDA) did not let the current health adversity hamper them from acknowledging the outstanding dairy farmers and entrepreneurs in the Philippine dairy industry this year.

The second Gawad Dairy Awards has been recently conducted on May 27, 2021 via Webex and it was the first-ever virtual awarding ceremony that was spearheaded by the government’s dairy industry arm. It will be streamed via the official NDA Facebook page on May 29, 2021.

Aiming to uphold dairy farming and to inspire existing and prospective dairy players, the 2nd Gawad Dairy Awards was graced by none other than its Administrator Marilyn Mabale together with Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar and Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food Chair Senator Cynthia Villar.

During her speech, Administrator Mabale said that the dairy industry is currently facing challenges brought about by the pandemic. However, she believed in the promise of a better and brighter future. “We need to strengthen our health and immunity in order to fight COVID-19. The role of dairy farmers is then particularly important since they provide immunity-boosting fresh milk to every Filipino family’s table.”

Mabale continued to say that “With all these challenges nowadays, there is no better way to handle this than to work together as one. Congratulations to all the Gawad Dairy Awardees and may this serve as an inspiration and extension of your excellence to others.”

Secretary Dar also delivered his own words of appreciation and insight. He said that “The Gawad Dairy Awards would have not been possible without the significant contributions of the dairy farmers in providing the Filipinos quality dairy products.” He added that through the government’s ongoing dairy development programs, the DA-NDA looks forward to a future “where farmers are happy with their income from dairying; milk processing plants are run by capable dairy technicians; and local consumers delight in the availability of affordable milk right in their communities.”

Finally, Senator Villar shared her deepest gratitude to all dairy farmers and players. “The NDA is one with the national government’s goal to develop and strengthen the country’s dairy industry. It is such a great opportunity to have this annual Gawad Dairy Awards so that all the efforts of Philippine dairy farmers and entrepreneurs will never be forgotten.”

Three Major Awards

NDA has presented three major awards during the virtual ceremony. The “Farmer with Dairy Milking Herd with the Highest Average Milk Yield” was awarded to Mr. Jose Tapay, Jr. of Lipa, Batangas.

Meanwhile, the “Farmer with Dairy Herd with Shortest Average Calving Interval” was awarded to Mr. Benjamin Lao of Bansalan, Davao del Sur. Finally, the “Most Prompt in Fulfilling Financial Obligations as a Dairy Farm Partner” was awarded to the Provincial Government of Camiguin.

Ten Special Citations

The 2nd Gawad Dairy Awards also presented 10 citations to excellent dairy farmers and outstanding dairy entrepreneurs. The “Farmer with Biggest Herd Size and Highest Milk Production in 2020” was awarded to Ms. Milagros How of the Universal Harvester Dairy Farms, Inc. in Maramag, Bukidnon.

The “Farmers with Complete Recording System” was awarded to Engr. Roger Navarro of Claveria, Misamis Oriental; Mr. Frank Lloyd Gargar of Claveria, Misamis Oriental; Mr. Jayruvic Vicoy of Consolacion, Cebu; and Mr. William Alin of Consolacion, Cebu.

Meanwhile, the “Indigenous People Engaged in Dairy” was awarded to Mr. Rolando Melendez of Impasugong, Bukidnon; Mr. Melencio Lomanoy of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon; and Mr. Joy Angcod of Impasugong, Bukidnon.

Finally, the “Food Safety Compliant NDA-Assisted Dairy Farms” was awarded to Mallig Dairy Farm in Mallig, Isabela and Unified Engineering Workers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (UEWMPC) Dairy Farm in Polomolok, South Cotabato.

Each awardee was given the chance to deliver an acceptance speech and all of them received plaques of recognition and some tokens from the NDA.