The 2013 National Ploughing Championships are starting Tuesday the 24 of September.
One of Europe’s largest Outdoor Exhibitions and Agricultural Trade Shows the National Ploughing Championships attracts on average 1,100 exhibitors and 189,000 visitors. This year’s National Ploughing Championships 2013 will take place from 24th to 26th September Stradbally, Co. Laois.
These images are from the 2012 Ploughing Championships which were held down in County Wexford. The day before I went in 2012 it poured rain so it was a very muddy day with blasts of rain then clear sunny hot spells.
This is a huge event in the farming calender as farmers from all over Ireland migrate to the one location meeting old friends and making new ones. This year Elaine Hall of @newfarmerette and myself as @Zwartblesie are looking forward to meeting as many tweeting farmers as possible at the band stand near the Ploughing Championships head quarters at 2pm on the Wednesday 25 of September. Elaine and I met via twitter we both got on really well just using the twitter allotment of 140 characters. We struggled through lambing tweeting each other at the odd hours one does in the middle of the night. I could tweet “Anyone out there sharing this cold wet windy night with me?” and I would get tweets from farmers all over Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England they might be milking, calving, lambing, looking after a sick animal or even foaling in the small hours of the night when the rest of Europe was sleeping. I have found wonderful support, information, friendship, as well as selling my Zwartbles Blankets via twitter.
Last year Elaine and I met for the first time at the Ploughing Championships. We were both very nervous meeting up for the first time; would this woman and I really get on as well in person as we did on twitter? We had never heard each others voice or knew what the other looked like as we had both hidden behind our anonymous twitter avatar’s and hadn’t exchanged phone numbers, just in case one thought the other a mad thing. Neither of us should have worried we sat and had a cup of tea and chatted like we were long lost sisters. We have met up several times and stay in touch, often unrelated to twitter. I have since met and enjoyed the company of many farmers and others whom I only knew by their twitter avatar, so far none have disappointed.
For those of you who have never been to the Ploughing Championships I have posted photographs to give you a taste of what goes on.
A city of tents and sheds are built up over one or two sometimes even 3 farms to accommodate this festival of farming.
Everyone is inspecting equipment that they dream of having or are in need of back home on the farm.
Also viewing some of the best livestock in the country.
Discovering new breeds of livestock.
Listening to livestock informational lectures.
Companies from all over the world have stands.
Exhibitions of Historical interest.
Crafts both modern and old are demonstrated.
People do lots of buying and selling. I thought this an inexpensive flock of sheep.
Loads of free things.
There is almost nothing you can not get, see or hear while at the Ploughing Championships.
If you pier over a hedge row you might spot the title of this festival taking place, the ploughing.
There is also the Horse Drawn Ploughing Championships singles and pairs.