• Dancing diggers to woo farmers (SBP – 24th September 2006)

    An article of mine from the Sunday Business Post:

    A massive television audience may be focused on Co Kildare for the Ryder Cup this weekend, but this year’s World Ploughing Championships, to be held in Co Carlow from Wednesday to Saturday, will cater for more than the number of people at the K Club this weekend.

    More than 150,000 people are expected at the 53rd annual championships, which are being held in Grangeford, Tullow.

    The K Club hosted 120,000 people during the three days of Ryder Cup competition.

    More than 300 farmers from 27 countries including Ireland will take part in this week’s ploughing championships, which will run for a day longer this year than last. More than 800 businesses will be displaying their products and services at the show.The championships, which coincided with the 75th anniversary of the Irish National Ploughing Association, will feature displays and exhibitions, including the JCB Dancing Diggers, featuring a team of digging machines performing elegant dance routines.

    Speaking about the championship, Colum McDonnell, national grain committee chairman of the Irish Farmers Association, said: ‘‘The event is incredibly important to Irish farming, not only because it is the largest operation in Europe, or because this year it is a four-day world ploughing event, but because it is able to get into the mood of Irish farming and enables farmers to prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the coming year.”