The National Ploughing Championships are like an agricultural Electric Picnic for farmers of all age. Farmers young and old from all over Europe and as far away as New Zealand travel to the event. Last year well over a quarter of a million people attended the 3 days show.
Over 1500 trade stands, discussions on every aspect of farming life and the most up to date farming machinery, equipment,and software innovations make “the show”:“http://www.npa.ie/ a must -attend for all engaged farmers from farms of all sizes. It also attracts huge numbers of curious fans of country life in general and it’s fair share of celebrities and stars anxious to” touch base with their audience”:http://www.npa.ie/live-stream/. It’s the place to be for three days in late September..
Now in it’s 84th year It’s also the largest outdoor exhibition and agricultural trade show in Europe. With Education a top theme this year 17 colleges from across the UK and Ireland will also be among the exhibitors.
It takes place in the village of Ratheniska, near Stradbally in County Laois (not too far from the site of the Electric Picnic) and apart from the exhibition stands and discussions of course there is a hell of a lot of ploughing going on. Not only are ploughmen and women competing for Irish titles but also for qualification for international events. Organisers say that last years attendance over the three days topped 280,000 people.This does of course make for heavy traffic in and around the site and indeed all over the country with people making their way from the four corners of the Ireland to the small Co. Laois village. Leave yourself plenty of extra time for getting there and getting home and above all drive carefully and make a break if you have a long journey. (pic. creative commons Ralf Roletschek www.fahrradmonteur.de)