The second day of the 2023 National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois saw a significant increase in attendance, with 71,800 people visiting the event on Wednesday, September 20. This surpassed the number of attendees on the first day, which was 66,250. The Ploughing Championships, one of Ireland’s largest agricultural events, showcases the latest innovations and developments in the farming industry.
Agriland, the leading agricultural news website, is the official livestream partner for Ploughing 2023. In collaboration with UPMC, Agriland broadcasts each day of the event from the Agriland pavilion at Stand 305 between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The livestream provides viewers with a variety of engaging discussions and insights into the agricultural sector.
The livestream coverage on the second day commenced with a panel discussion featuring prominent political figures. Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher, Green Party MEP Grace O’Sullivan, and Independent TD Carol Nolan shared their perspectives on key agricultural issues. The panel explored topics such as sustainability, rural development, and the future of farming in Ireland.
Following this, a panel discussion with online agricultural influencers took place at 12:30 p.m. The panel included digital content creator Sophie Bell, former Macra president Thomas Duffy, and presenter and TikToker Katie Shanahan. They discussed the role of social media in promoting agriculture and engaging with younger generations.
At 1:00 p.m., the livestream featured a debate between the candidates for deputy president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA). Alice Doyle and Pat Murphy, the two candidates vying for the position, presented their visions and plans for the IFA. This debate provided an opportunity for farmers to gain insights into the candidates’ priorities and policies ahead of the association’s upcoming elections.
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Pippa Hackett, sat down for an exclusive interview with Agriland journalist Aisling O’Brien at 1:30 p.m. They discussed various agricultural topics, including sustainable farming practices, climate change, and the future of Irish agriculture.
The livestream continued with a special panel discussion at 2:00 p.m., focusing on the tillage sector. Agriland journalist Richard Halleron moderated the panel, which included Shay Phelan from Teagasc and Kieran McEvoy, the IFA tillage chair. The discussion delved into the challenges and opportunities within the tillage industry.
At 2:30 p.m., another panel discussion took place, featuring Jack Nolan, a senior inspector at DAFM, Grace Maher from the Irish Organic Association (IOA), and organic farmer Kevin O’Hanlon. They explored the growing interest in organic farming and the importance of sustainable practices in the agricultural sector.
Farm safety, health, and well-being were the focus of the next panel discussion at 3:00 p.m. The panel included David Rowsome, a UPMC physiotherapist, Pat Griffin from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), and a representative from Pieta, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mental health support. They emphasized the importance of prioritizing safety and well-being on farms.
The final panel of the day, which commenced at 3:30 p.m., centered on women in farming. Agriland editor Stella Meehan led the discussion, joined by Sandra Hayes from Teagasc, Ciara Lynch from Women in Dairy, and Paula Fitzsimons from ACORNS, a program supporting female entrepreneurs in rural areas. The panel explored the contributions and challenges faced by women in the agricultural industry.
The livestream provided a valuable platform for farmers, industry professionals, and the public to engage with key agricultural topics and gain insights from experts in the field. With a diverse range of discussions and panels, Ploughing 2023 continues to be a significant event in the Irish agricultural calendar, fostering innovation and knowledge-sharing within the industry.