On Wednesday and Thursday last week myself and the farmers headed to Europe’s largest outdoor festival ! . When I think of festivals I think of summer time, loads of music, face paints, shorts and fancy wellies and very trendy famous people with farming being the last thing I would think of. Europe’s largest outdoor festival is actually all things farming, food and enterprise with a little bit of music and dancing thrown in but no muddy fields full of tents. The National ploughing Championships this year were on Tues, Wed and Thurs the 19th to 21st of September and was held in Screggan in Co Offaly. The ploughing is a yearly event that over the three days attract over 200,000 people, they come from far and near to see millions of euro worth of machinery, livestock and food. This day out is planned from one year to the other in a lot of houses and we haven’t missed it in years. This is an event for not just the farming community but for everyone as there is just so much to see and do and even though the weather this year on the Wednesday was crap we still wouldn’t have missed it, after all isn’t that what rain gear is for ?
This year was also a little special as the eldest farmer ( on the right) received his award from Dairymaster on the Wednesday and was presented it to him by the Minister for Agriculture, Micheal Creed. The two lads worked hard ( partied hard )on their thesis and it payed off in the end, they both started college together and received their awards together as well.
There were lots of cute animals to see and also a pink Valtra tractor for breast cancer, I couldn’t convince the farmers that we really needed this tractor.
For the last couple of years I have curated the @IrelandsFarmers twitter account on the Wednesday of the ploughing, taking photos and some videos during the day to share with the over 12k followers the account has, this year I got to curate for two days, the Wed and Thurs and it was made extra special as on the Wednesday it and myself were number 1 in the top 5 journalists to follow for the plouging which I was delighted with as its a great account giving people a inside view of real life on a farm. Here is the link below.
We put together a list of the top 5 journalists tweeting from #ploughing17. https://t.co/MLUMACCPCH
So that’s the ploughing over for another year and we are all looking forward to next year already, Roll on September 2018.
Today we got up very early , got all our jobs done and headed out the door at 6.20am for the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly. We were expecting the usual traffic delays and hold ups that come every year with the ploughing but it was good heading in this morning we were straight into the site but we did bring supplies to keep Sid busy in the car.
When we arrived of course the farmers were hungry so it was food time , we didn’t bring a picnic this year which I was sorry I hadn’t when we got our food. One sandwich , two packets of crisps , one nakd bar and a coffee was €12.50 and a breakfast roll and a bottle of water was €8. We then went to have a look around and I think if you were there for the three days you still wouldn’t see it all but here is some of what we did see.
Sid had a great day and there is lots for younger kids to do from sitting up in some of the machinery , heading to Ken Black’s for some toys, going to the playground or heading to the science foundation tent to try their had at some experiments there is lots to do.
The crowds were big i am not sure exactly how many people were there today but at one stage it just seemed to be all people.
The weather was good and there was no muck till lunch time then it all changed and the rain started , we got soaked to our bones again the day was over.
But we had a good day and enjoyed every minute of it.
If you are thinking of going tomorrow I would advise wellies because even if it’s fine tomorrow there will be muck. Also when we were leaving today there was a few cars stuck in the parking and there was a long walk to the parking with tractors and trailers bringing people to and from the site.
We had a great day and I really enjoyed sharing it on the IrelandsFarmers twitter account and on my Instagram.
Looking forward to seeing all the tweets from it tomorrow but now it’s time for a coffee and to warm my bones.
It had to be a picture of a tractor at the start of this post because this week coming is possibly the biggest week in the whole farming calendar. It’s three days where most of the farming community come together at Europe’s largest outdoor event but what I want to tell you all is that the ploughing is not just for the farming community.
This year The National Ploughing Championship’s are taking place in Screggan Co Offaly on Tues, Wed and Thurs 20th – 22nd of September. I am lucky enough to get to go every year and this year I am heading down on the Wednesday where I will be taking over the @IrelandsFarmers twitter account and I will also be sharing my day there on my Instagram account so go follow now to see whats going on the day I am there. Even before we started farming 6yrs ago we always took at least one day to go to the ploughing. There is just so much to see and do there for everyone not just farmers. The ploughing showcases the best of Irish food and food producers with lots of food samples to try, there are acres of tractors and machinery , there are hundreds of different livestock to look at some of which are just very cute like this little lad from last year.
There are fashion shows , beauty and household shopping and there is even a playground for all the little people on the day. This is not just for us farmers but it is a great day out for anyone and I think everyone should visit it at least once.
I have been keeping an eye on the weather which to be honest is not supposed to be great for it this year but we will just get out the wellies, pack the picnic for when we get there and make the most of the muck.
If you are going this year let me know maybe we would do a meet up ?
So fingers crossed the weather gods are good to us and keep an eye out tomorrow for my top tips on surviving/enjoying the ploughing .