Ploughing Championships 2022: Here’s what not to miss at the Ploughing Championships this week & More Breaking News

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Returning for the first time in three years following the pandemic is ensuring that the 91st National Ploughing Championships is a jam packed bumper three-day event of must sees.

hile also showcasing the 67th World Ploughing here are 10 of the must not miss of the up to 1,700 exhibitions and events over the three-day event which is expected to attract 300,000 visitors at the Ratheniska, Co Laois site.

Firm favourites are returning and there will be several new and exciting businesses attending for the first time ensuring a little bit of everything for everyone.

On the ploughing front there will be 25 international teams from all over the globe competing in the World Ploughing Contest whilst core of the exhibition will be the stalwart of agricultural and plant machinery worth millions of euros on display.

Being hyped as a strong contender for this year’s overall winner of the World Ploughing Contest is 19-year-old American Hayley Gruber from Minnesota whose coach is her father Gene, a former World winner.

With cutting edge technology, technical experts on hand for free consultations in the Agri-tech pavilion and there will be a Machine of the Year competition.

There are 32 National Ploughing Classes with the best competitors from all over the country battling it out including loy digging and horse ploughing all of which will total 311 events.

Also planned is the ultimate showcase of all livestock farming needs, breed societies, live exhibits and displays, health, genetics, feed, equipment and all the farm services required for the livestock producer.

An attempt is being made to get into the Guinness Book of Records by ploughing backwards. Patrick Kelly will attempt to break the world record in driving a tractor and trailer in reverse driving a 1962 Massey Ferguson tractor with no power steering. 

This extraordinary fundraising effort – to raise over €150,000 – by Patrick is in honour of his late mother Mai Kelly, who died of cancer. All proceeds will be used to support cancer care in St James’s Hospital.

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Meanwhile, sustainability is a key objective for the 2022 Championships with food waste processed through an anaerobic digester to create energy which is timely as electricity, gas and oil costs surge again.

There will be a huge promotion of recyclable products, solar panel lighting towers, cardboard compactors and waste separation operations. Visitors are being warned that they will be subject to litter fines this year.

On the business front, Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena will have ground breaking technologies and cutting-edge ideas on show. International buying delegations will be on hand to seek out potential development opportunities while there will also be Innovation Awards for the best projects.

Small businesses from across the country will have an opportunity to promote themselves also.

The initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) will see 31 small businesses, one from each LEO, take a stand in the Local Enterprise Village at the Ploughing Championships.

More than likely some type of shopping will be on the agenda be it from plans to spend a couple to hundreds of thousands of euros Ireland’s Biggest Pop Up Shopping Centre is sure to entice many punters into the hundreds of retail companies on offer.

There will also be three daily fashion shows of country style at its best with the well-known model Celia Holman Lee along with super prizes for the ‘Best Dressed Country Style’ competitions on offer.

If that is not enough there is the National Brown Bread Baking competition finals with a prize of €15,000 for the overall winner and the honour of having your loaf sold for 12 months in all 150 Aldi stores nationwide.

Staying with all things country, and following fast on the singing and dancing heels of country music megastar Garth Brooks will be the daily ‘Reach out country music’ radio show hosted by Trudi Lawlors with all the big country music stars between 1pm and 3pm along with live music and dancing at the bandstand.

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When it comes to sport, GAA hurling and Waterford coach and the star of Ireland’s Fittest Families Davy Fitzgerald will judge the new Fittest Farmer contest.

The contest is being billed as a fun way of sparking a vital discussion about the physical and mental health of the nation’s farmers, aiming to get all farmers thinking and talking about their physical and mental health.

For interested farmers keen on taking part in the Ireland’s Fittest Farmer competition, they are encouraged to visit Zurich’s stand each morning from 11am.

Anna May McHugh who runs the Championships alongside her daughter Anna Marie, commenting on this year’s National and World Championships said: “It’s great to be back after three long and tough years. To come back with a bang with the World Championships is no mean feat.

“Many of the competitors including those from New Zealand and Australia are on site practicing already so they can get used to the soil. They couldn’t wait to get here.

“There is so much excitement about the Ploughing from competitors, exhibitors, Gardai, all the State bodies involved, authorities and the farm owners we are just hoping everything goes well as we want to ensure there is something new for everyone to enjoy”.

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