The 2022 National Ploughing Championships has been officially launched in Ratheniska, Co Laois.
Ploughing 2022 will take place in two weeks’ time from 20 to 22 September. Ireland will also be hosting the 67th world ploughing contest.
National Ploughing Association (NPA) managing director Anna May McHugh said that the championships not only provide a national stage for showcasing all things that are great about Ireland, but also brings together people from all sectors of Irish society, both rural and urban, to enjoy three days immersed in country living.
“There is also serious international appeal, with exhibitors, global buyers and visitors coming from far-flung countries such as France, the USA, UK, Uganda, Germany, India, Poland, Ghana, Belgium, New Zealand, France, Saudi Arabia, Lativa and the Netherlands, making Ploughing the perfect opportunity to show the very best of Ireland’s food, farming and culture,” she said.
Sustainability is very much a key theme for Ploughing 2022, McHugh said. There will be numerous green initiatives at this year’s event.
For example, the NPA will be promoting the use of recyclable products, food waste will be converted into energy through an anaerobic digester and there will also be lighting towers powered by solar panels, cardboard compactors, litter fines and waste separation operations on site.
Certa, formally known as Emo Oil, is providing the electricity for the event using hydrated vegetable oil (recycled cooking oil), while Bank of Ireland will be giving out native Irish hedgerow plants as part of its programme.
World Ploughing Organisation general secretary Anna Marie McHugh said that it is a massive honour for Ireland to welcome international delegations and their supporters from 28 countries all around the globe.
“The very best plough men and women in the world will be battling it out to be crowned world champion. International teams have been arriving for the past few weeks and it is fantastic to have some of these teams here with us today.”
In the national ploughing stakes, a particularly strong programme has attracted entries from all around the country and Northern Ireland, bringing the number preparing to plough in Laois to 311 for the three-day event.
There will also be machinery and livestock, along with attractions such as fashion shows, sheep shearing, hunt chase, fun fair, vintage ploughing, threshing and loy digging.