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Gildernew ploughs a furrow at National Championships

23 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has paid a visit to the National Ploughing Championships in Cuffesgrange, County Kilkenny.

The minister was welcomed by the National Ploughing Association's President James Grainger and Mrs Anna May McHugh, Managing Director who took her on a tour of the extensive site at Cuffesgrange. During the visit she had the opportunity to speak with competitors and view trade exhibits. She also visited the DARD exhibition where she met staff from the Department and AFBI as well as representatives of a wide range of companies from the North.

The minister said:

"As well as being a cornerstone of the competitive ploughing calendar, these championships provide an opportunity to highlight to the public all that is good about farming. It was great to see so many local companies and organisations promoting their products and services to a wider audience."

More than 150,000 people will visit this year's National Ploughing Championships which run 23-25 September. This spectacular event boasts the biggest demonstration of machinery ever seen in the country this year as well as a 70 acre trade arena with a huge cross section of businesses taking stands at one of Europe's premier agricultural events. Around 300 competitors battle for the title of Champion Plough.

The DARD exhibition at the event features a number of diversified farming businesses including crafts, engineering technology, services, tourism and food. The display also focuses on the new Rural Development Programme which provides business development, mentoring and training for farmers and their families and supports a wide range of projects including farm modernisation, business creation, environment and countryside schemes and diversification.

The minister concluded:

"I am delighted to be in a position to assist our industry's participation at such a large national event and I hope the DARD exhibition site at the show will reap great rewards for all those who are displaying." ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. This is the 77th year of the National Ploughing Championship which took place at Farmley, Cuffesgrange, County Kilkenny. The Championships is Ireland's largest agricultural event and attracts over 300 competitors with 150,000 spectators over the three days (22-25 September).
  2. The North's 65th International Ploughing Championships will be held on 3-4 October 2008, at Muldrew's Farm, Castledillon in Armagh.

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