In my Fiancée’s Grandmother’s house there is a picture of her grandfather and his horses competing, and winning in the ploughing back in the forties. It takes pride of place in the living room; it’s an elite club that have held that title after all. Seventy years on and it’s time for another group to fight it out for this and the various other ploughing titles up for grabs. Since it’s humble beginnings back in the thirties the ploughing Championship has become the best festival in the country; hell, it’s the biggest outdoor event of its kind in the EU so we’ll claim Europe too. So why is it the place to be every September?
Well if you’re a farmer you probably already know, it’s effectively your Mecca after all; or more accurately heaven on Earth. Where else would you go to see the latest machinery on offer, the newest technology for farm improvement, find out about new farm practices, chat to experts, check out breeds of cattle and get the best offers going on all of the above and more. And that’s not the half of it. Three days isn’t even enough time to get around and see everything. Despite its origins and name most people never get to see a single sod turned when they’re there! Whether you’re into sheep, dairy, beef, or forestry there will be something to interest you. If you’re a farmer you know the score; You’ve probably been planning your visit to the ploughing for several months now; You’ve got your route through the grounds planned. You don’t need me to tell you why it’s worth it.
But of course, the great thing about the ploughing is you don’t even need to be a farmer to go. Every year thousands of people flock to the ploughing without knowing what make of tractor is their favourite or what the many uses of baling twine are. Believe it or not there are some who don’t even know what the point in “turning over the ground” is! They come, not to take in the glory of a new Massey or Deere, not to admire the livestock or to hear about the latest in robotic milking, but for the craic. They come for the entertainment on offer, the fashion shows, the sheep dog trials, the funfair, the prize draws and the chance to see behind the curtain of what farmers get up to “out there in the fields”. The sheep shearing demos are fascinating particularly to those that haven’t grown up knowing the hassle, as are the vintage displays and show cases of how things used to get done “in the good old days”. Then of course, there’s always the chance of running into a celebrity or two (if you’re into that sort of thing), the food options are great; and that’s not even mentioning the rumours of women that flock to the ploughing, (Easy Lads) to try and find a “nice gentlemanly farmer”. (Unfortunately, with all the machinery and farming talk the lads might be too distracted to pass them any heed, so they’ll have their work cut out!) There’s stalls galore for all your shopping needs and with the crowds that gather you are sure to run into some friends or if not make some new ones.
All of this is what has led the ploughing championships becoming the largest and one of the longest running festivals in Ireland. It has become the place to be every September and this year is no different. We here at Agridirect have been preparing for weeks and our team are excited to meet old and new customers alike so if you are heading to the biggest event of the year drop in to Stand 560, Block 2, Row 25 for some chat and some craic. We are running a number of draws with some excellent prises on offer for any customer who wishes to stop by and enter. We look forward to meeting you there.