The National Ploughing Championships are underway in Ireland, and a particularly Irish world record has already been broken!
The Championships take place over three jam packed days and include events such as sheep shearing, lawnmower racing, welly throwing, sheep dog trials and even ‘best dressed’.
The event is also a livestock and machinery exhibition and will include over 1,500 stands. It is expected to attract over 280,000 people with crowds spending around €36million.
The Championships were opened by Irish President Michael D Higgins who said: “It is essential that agriculture remains at the centre of any new models of growth and development which we seek to put in place.”
On the first day of the championships, which are taking place in Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co Laois, a world record was broken that would make any Irish person proud.
A 12-person ‘tea team’ put together by Lidl Ireland broke the Guinness World Record of most cups of tea poured in one hour.
The team were set the target of 1,608 cups of tea to claim glory but they totally excelled themselves. They ended up racing past the previous record by whopping 240 cups to end up with a hugely impressive total of 1,848 cups.
That’s some world class tea making!
We’ve tea’d off our @GWR attempt here at the #LidlBarn #LidlPloughing pic.twitter.com/bRLwFWkZK6
— Lidl Ireland (@lidl_ireland) September 22, 2015
Meanwhile Mr Higgins issued a warning about new technology in the farming industry.
With improving technology and ever more sophisticated methods of farming, farmers can feel under pressure to complete tasks more quickly than ever.
Mr Higgins said: “This means that our farmyards have changed rapidly and now carry myriad risks. This, combined with the inherent unpredictability of agricultural work, calls for a greater than ever need for safety awareness on farms.”
Farming accidents account for 60% of workplace fatalities in Ireland, despite farming employees only making up 6% of the workforce.
Mr Higgins continued: “That this figure is four times greater than the second most dangerous occupational sector in the country – construction – is a salutary and sobering reminder of just how hazardous our farms can be.
“We hear and read too regularly of tragic deaths that have occurred on farmyards around the country.
“It is, of course, important to acknowledge that ensuring safety on farms is a somewhat more complex task than that which faces most workplace managers.
“The vast majority of our farms are required to play a dual role; as a place of work, but also as a family home, a home which often must cater for several generations of the same family.
Here are some of our favourite videos of the championships so far, taken from the Irish independent.
President Higgins: “put safety at the heart of our farming industry”
Looking for love at the Ploughing Championships?
Irish Independent at the National Ploughing Championships