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National Ploughing Championships a shop window for business growth - O’Neill

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill today wished those exhibitors and competitors taking part in the National Ploughing Championships every success.
Monday, 23 September 2013

The Championships, which are taking place during 24-26 September at Ratheniska Stradbally Co.Laois are in their 82nd year and are the biggest event in the Irish farming calendar and the largest outdoor agricultural event in Europe. DARD will be supporting 12 local exhibitors at the event, helping them to promote their products and develop new marketing opportunities.

The Minister said: “The National Ploughing Championships annually attract over 180,000 visitors and provides an excellent opportunity to show the all-island partnership that continues within our agricultural sector.

“I am pleased that this year 85 exhibitors from the north will be showcasing the diverse range of products, with the aim of securing new market opportunities.

“In the current economic climate it is important that the local business community continues to explore such opportunities and establish networks and supply chains throughout the island of Ireland and Europe.

“I am particularly pleased that a large number of the local exhibitors at this year’s championships are from rural areas, with a number of them being assisted by my Department’s support programmes.”

The Minister wished those competitors from the north taking part in the Ploughing Championships the very best of luck. She said: “Ploughing is a tradition that has passed through many generations of farming families and I want to pass on my best wishes to our local ploughmen in this year’s Championships. I’m sure you will do us proud.”

Minister O’Neill, who is currently in China participating in a major international agricultural conference, was represented at the National Ploughing Championships by her Assistant Parliamentary Secretary Cathal Ó’hOisín MLA.

Notes to editors:

1.The 82nd National Ploughing Championships will take place at Ratheniska Stradbally Co.Laois from 24-26 September 2013. This is the fifth time they have been held in Co. Laois. The venue in Ratheniska marks 70 years since the Championships were first held in county Laois and on that occasion, Lamerton, Ratheniska hosted the event in 1943.

2. James Grainger is President of the NPA and James Sutton is Chairman.

3. The exhibitors at the DARD exhibition stand include:

  • Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
  • Agnew Engineering, Laurencetown
  • ECO Systems, Derrylin
  • Food NI (Unmanned stand only)
  • G.H. Engineering, Castlederg
  • H2 Engineering, Coalisland
  • Hillmount BBQ Academy, Castlereagh
  • Lineman, Omagh
  • NI Ploughing Association (Unmanned stand only)
  • Oddball Engineering, Dungannon
  • Sullivan Engineering, Portadown
  • Todd’s Leap, Ballygawley

4. All media enquiries should be directed to DARD Press Office on 02890 524 619 or email: pressoffice.group@dardni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned