Leanne Shaughnessy and Stephen Reynolds enjoying last year's novice ploughing. Photo: Michelle Ghee
The Novice Ploughing workshop, which takes place on Saturday March 30, is being hosted by Paul Belton, an annual event in Longford for over thrity years.
The event has taken place in Longford since 1986 and the focus of the workshop is on beginners aged from 16 years, who hold a driving licence.
Participants will be offered an introduction to ploughing, tutoring and guidance from experienced ploughing competitors.
The workshop will be run under NPA rules with some changes introduced this year, to create extra opportunities for everyone.
In recent years, the workshop usually took place before the main ploughing match. This year, however, it's timed for the
Saturday after the Longford Ploughing Championships.
This will give aspiring students attending the big event, a chance to book in for the workshop.
The most significant change as part of this year's workshop is the introduction of a reversible section, for the first time ever in Longford.
Another notable tweak to ensure fairness and equality for everyone, is that only a standard conventional plough or a standard reversible plough is permitted for the competitive part of the event.
A ploughing judge hailing from another county and registered with the NPA, will also be in attendance. The best performance in conventional ploughing and the best in reversible ploughing will qualify to compete for County Longford.
At the workshop on Saturday March 30, two young people will win an opportunity to compete at the national ploughing championships in Co Carlow next September.
This is an opportunity to represent County Longford and it includes convenient parking, free access and VIP status at Europe's largest Agricultural exhibition for three days, the national ploughing championships itself.
Kiernan Milling in Granard, who are main sponsors of this year's event in Longford, are also offering Kiernan Milling apparel to everyone who participates in a full ploughing lesson.
As well as this, the names of everyone who participates will be entered in a draw for a Kiernan Milling goody bag, including a hoodie or jacket, cap, pens and an NPA ticket.
Participants will also learn a lot about tractor safety at a novice match. The entry fee is only €10 and the starting time is 12pm, with hot refreshments served on the day.
“Come along and avail of over 30 years of very successful tutoring experience and perhaps you could add an All Ireland title to your CV” said PRO Luke Casey.
“If you have your own plough, bring it along and gain some practical tips for the next task at home.”
The event takes place Saturday March 30, on the farm of Paul Belton.