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.
So tomorrow is the start of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly. It really is a great day out if you are well prepared but if your not it can also be the longest, most painful day of your life. So here are my top tips for surviving/ enjoying the ploughing.
- Always have wellies with you and not new ones because no one wants sore feet all day so if on the day wellies are needed make sure they are very comfy.
- Bring a picnic because there is nothing as nice as having a cup of coffee and something good to eat when you reach the parking at the ploughing it was also give you time to find where the food is at the ploughing so you won’t have little people nagging they are hungry.
- Food and drinks can be expensive and to be honest not always the nicest , it can be truly fast food but if you take your time to look there are some hidden food jems normally in the food tents and borders bias stand.
- Don’t bring too much coats and jumpers just what you need because it’s a pain having to carry extra clothes all day.
- DON’T BRING A BUGGY unless you want a day in hell, think of the biggest crowds you can then double it.
- If the little people can’t walk for the day leave them at home for their sake and your own.
- Make sure you write your phone number on older kids arms just in case they get lost.
- Us women try leave all hand bags at home and carry what you need in your pockets , it will save on shoulder/ back pain during the day.
- It is not a fashion show so make your clothes choice practical and something you don’t mind getting muck on and even if the weather is good wear old boots or shoes because there will still be muck there.
- Expect LONG delays getting parked so bring something to keep the little or even big kids busy in the car.
- Bring cash for food and shopping there are pass machines but no card facilities normally at the shops and food areas.
- Use the toilets when you get there because they get rough as the day goes on.
- Most of all have fun , look at lots and learn loads.
So there are some of my simple tips to help you enjoy your day , delays are to be expected , huge crowds and muck but it is Europe’s largest outdoor event showcasing the best machinery , livestock and food Ireland has to offer and it’s well worth a visit.
I will be taking over the @IrelandsFarmers twitter account on the Wednesday so go give it a follow and also go follow my Instagram see lots of stories and photos from the day.