This year I was due to meet up with some of the tweeting farmers at the annual National Ploughing Championships in County Laois. I arrived early about 8 am finding the parking area was shrouded in a thick mist.
I stopped by a large picnic area which was quite empty at that early hour of the festival for a coffee.
Every year I try to win a shed and this year this was the shed I tried to win. The donation goes to a good cause so feel ok when I loose every year.
Next stop was the livestock area to see what new breeds are shown and what the best livestock from different breeds looks like.
I also stopped by the Zwartbles Stand in the sheep tunnel which had been kindly put up by Judy Maxwell with all of her Zwartbles Posters, which looked fantastic.
There was a great pen of Zwartbles Cross breeds 3 sisters born in April grass reared out of a Cheviot Border Leicester cross ewe by a Zwartbles ram. None of the sheep farmers coming through could believe the size and quality of the cross bred ewe lambs.
The biggest crowd of people was around the computer robotic milking. The people were crowded around the huge tent on all 4 sides up to 10 people deep.
Cameras every where you didn’t quite know which programs or where they were from.
There where cooking Demonstrations
Famous People from the GAA
If you needed a nice cup of tea and a bale of hay to sit on here was the best place.
Huge areas of farm machinery all opened for anyone to look under their hood to see how they ticked over.
I stood on top of a grass collector to take a photo of the crowds.
The sun did make an appearance
When it was time to meet up with the tweeting farmers I of course got lost and thought I was in the right place but was not. We had 14 farmers who are on twitter turn up there could have been quite a few more but the WiFi at the National Ploughing Championships was so bad that we didn’t get their lost tweets asking where we were until we had left the sight. I only regret I couldn’t have chatted longer to everyone but hope there will be another time we can all meet up again.
All in all I had a fantastic day out, there was a great atmosphere all over the place. Only 3 things I hope they improve for next year. First I think the sight map and signs could be improved as I looked for the horse ploughing for over an hour even asking directions and couldn’t find it. They might think of hiring an urban planner for next year as the festival sight now has to be so huge. Second that the WiFi be improved they could put up temporary towers to improve the broadband capacity. Third they should think about having good food in more locations not just burger bars all over the place. Irish farmers produce some of the best raw materials for food production and the over all standard of food at the Ploughing Championships left something to be desired, especially when there where large delegations from country’s like China viewing what Irish farming had to offer. I hope this has given you a flavor of the the day.