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EDITORIAL - Celebrating the ploughing

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This month's National Ploughing Championships come at the end of a good summer for farming.

 

This year, already, we've been through and survived the horsemeat scandal, CAP reform and one of the best bouts of good weather this country has seen in a many years. The good summer helped many forget and recover from the distasterous winter many farmers had to endure.

Over three days, the agricultural community will descent on Co. Laois, to enjoy, in hopefully good continued weather, one of the highlights of the agricultural calendar which is, the culmination of a year's work by the organisers, headed up by Anna Marie McHugh.

The September event is spread over 800 acres of land and has 17 different farming families involved in hosting. It will, hopefully, see in the region of 180,000 visitors. For many it's an annual pilgrimage, a chance to meet people they don't see from one end of the year to the next. For others, it's the chance to see a world of agricultural products and implements in one day.

There's a serious side too, with classes and exhibitions to the forefront of many farmers' minds. Anyone who hasn't witnessed the actual ploughing competition at the event should take the time this year to see it. It's one of the biggest aspects of the event and is missed by most people.

It is also an opportunity to see the country's best ploughmen and women in action, including people who have represented their country on an international platform. So, if you do make the National Ploughing Championships this year, make sure some actual ploughing is on your agenda when you get there!