The 2023 National Ploughing Championships were again held in Ratheniska, Co. Laois from September 19th to 21st. Thanks to the weather, the conditions were damp overhead and soft underfoot and this may have contributed to slightly lower than average attendances (200,550) over the three days. But for those who braved the elements, the experience was as enjoyable as ever and spirits were high among those who attended.
CAP Network Ireland were delighted to attend their inaugural Ploughing Championships and were to be found in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) tent for the three days. The staff were honoured to meet Minister Charlie McConalogue and Minister of State Pippa Hackett on morning of the Wednesday in the DAFM tent.
Despite the slightly lower attendance, visits to the CAP Network Ireland desk in the DAFM tent were plentiful and many visitors took the opportunity to sign-up to the CAP Network in order to stay up to date with the latest Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) news and learn about many of the innovations taking place within the agricultural sector.
Staff and visitors discussed many topics including environmental sustainability issues, succession planning and the various pathways to achieving the Green Cert. Our ‘Women in Agriculture’ booklet was particularly popular and there was noticeable interest from secondary school Agricultural Science students and their teachers. It was interesting to note that teachers were reporting a significant uptick in interest amongst young women for Agricultural Science in recent years.
Overall, the experience of CAP Network Ireland attending the National Ploughing Championships was an extremely positive one and everyone involved is already looking forward to attending again in 2024.