The Ploughing in Stradbally attracted large crowds as usual and the National Ploughing Association catered to over 1,400 commercial stands.
All the usual suspects were present with farm organisations, semi-State bodies, machinery companies and animal health companies in abundance. Some of the stands where very innovative. Both the NDC and Bord Bia offered interesting concepts in attracting the farming community to their respective stands.
The supermarkets were ever present with Lidl, Tesco and Aldi offering impressive cookery areas and promoting their partnership with Irish suppliers. According to Aldi, the company now supports over 22,000 jobs across the country. While we all welcome this, our friends in the IFA were considering a protest on the opening day of the event.
The previous week, they had protested in a number of the multiples regarding low beef prices. With the Ploughing the following week, and Kepak and Dawn exhibiting, it seemed logical to follow this up. However, the star of the show Anne May McHugh had other ideas and suggested to the hierarchy of the IFA that, if the protest went ahead, they would not be exhibiting next year. So the boys went back to what they do best and kick-started the race to succeed John Bryan!