WITH less than a week to go to the staging of Europe’s largest outdoor events, preparations in Ballintrane, Fenagh, County Carlow, are seriously taking shape as this green field transforms into the bustling city that will be ‘Ploughing 19’.
Launching the event, NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said: “The Championships not only provides a national stage for showcasing all things agricultural, but also brings together people from all sectors of Irish society both rural and urban, to enjoy three days immersed in country living.
“There is also serious international appeal with exhibitors, global buyers and visitors coming from far flung countries such as Turkey, the USA, UK, Uganda, Germany, India, Poland, Ghana, Belgium, New Zealand, France, Saudi Arabia, Lativa and the Netherlands, making ‘Ploughing’ the perfect opportunity to show the very best of Ireland’s food, farming and culture.”
There will be millions of euro worth of agricultural and plant machinery on display featuring an extensive range of cutting edge agricultural technology and equipment, with the opportunity to see these in action in the machinery demonstration area. The leading manufacturers and agents will be present with specialist sales advisors and technical experts available for free consultations.
Visitors can take the opportunity to admire the marvellous quality livestock on display and learn about livestock management, genetics, nutrition and healthcare. This year will see the introduction of a new ‘Agritech’ pavilion which will include fascinating interactive demonstrations.
Green is indeed very much the theme of the day as sustainability is key at this year’s Championships with zero per cent of the event’s waste going to landfill.
The NPA in partnership with Carlow County Council, the South-ern Regional Waste Management Office and AES has agreed a segregated waste collection for the ‘Ploughing’. Visitors will be presented with a three-bin system including food waste (which will be converted into electricity by an anaerobic digester), mixed dry recyclables and general waste.
NPA Assistant MD Anna Marie McHugh said: “Watch out for the clear signage in our catering areas and have a chat with the ‘Green Bin angels’ who will be on-hand to give you advice and help you dispose of your waste in the right place. We will also have bottle recycling units throughout the site.
“Our catering partners are ensuring that as much as possible of their single use items are made from compostable materials and are also offering a 50 cent ‘reusable cup discount’ on all teas and coffees. And Coca-Cola as one of our partners has committed to eliminate more than 3.5 tonnes of virgin PET over the three-day event with their new recyclable packaging initiative.”
There is no doubt that the entrepreneurial spark is alive and well in Ireland with an unpreced-ented number of diverse and exciting businesses exhibiting at the “Local Enterprise Village” at this year’s Ploughing Championships. The popular Innovation Arena is set to make a very welcome return with ground breaking technologies and cutting edge ideas that will amaze.
Given the immense popularity of the Food & Lifestyle villages, the huge ‘Dome’ marquee with over 100 exhibitors is set to return and to meet demand a new similar indoor ‘Hub’ marquee has been created. The ‘Ploughing’ is a haven for foodies, as all sectors of the food chain are represented from producer to retailer, artisan foods, craft beers, celebrity chefs, cookery competitions and much more.
In the ploughing stakes, a particularly strong programme has attracted entries from all around the country and Northern Ireland bringing the number preparing to plough in Carlow to over 300 for the three days. This year the introduction of the new ‘Novice’ reversible class will attract more young people into the competition.
All of the firm favourite attractions are set to return this year such as Fashion Shows, Meggers, Sheep Shearing, Hunt Chase, Fun Fair, Food Trail, Craft Demonstrations, Pony Games, Live Music and Dancing, Vintage Ploughing, Threshing, Fun Fair, Loy Digging, Motor Show with celebrities and well known faces everywhere, Ploughing 2019 is not to be missed.