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Gildernew promises warm welcome for visitors to DARD stand at National Ploughing Championships

1 September, 2009 - by Westminster

Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew M,P MLA has announced details of the DARD exhibition at the National Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co Kildare.

DARD’s exhibition at this year’s event will include, for the first time, a dedicated pavilion to showcase diversified businesses recently established by local farm families. The National Ploughing Championships 2009 will take place at Athy, County Kildare from Tuesday 22 to Thursday 24 September 2009.

Announcing the plans, the Minister said:

“This year’s National Ploughing Championships in Athy will be the third consecutive year that my Department will have taken part. The National Ploughing Championships are always at the peak of the Irish farming calendar, and present agricultural and rural businesses with a unique opportunity to put their wares on show to a very large audience.

“In the current economic climate, everyone is after that extra edge in the marketplace. The National Ploughing Championships is a unique event which has the potential to help improve diversifying farmers’ and rural business prospects. This year the Department will be facilitating a number of local rural enterprises by hosting a dedicated pavilion and an AFBI stand. The pavilion will showcase four key sectors, equine, crafts and tourism, engineering and services.

“A warm welcome on the DARD stand will be awaiting anyone attending the ploughing championship who calls in and I hope everyone attending the championships will consider visiting our stand. I am always very keen to promote our products and hope our stand at this national event will help secure new opportunities for the rural business participants. “

Last year over 900 exhibitors featured at the championships which attracted crowds in excess of 180,000. This spectacular event boasts the largest mobile machinery exhibition in Europe combining upwards of 60 acres of trade exhibition with an extensive machinery demonstration area.

Discussing local competitors’ prospects in the championships, the Minister said: “In particular I want to wish all our local ploughmen the best of luck at this year’s event in Athy and I am confident that they are well capable of leading the way.” ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The 78th National Ploughing Championships will take place at Athy, County Kildare from Tuesday 22 -Thursday 24 September 2009.

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