Some of the attending students pictured on their tour of Kiernan Milling in Granard, the official sponsors of the Longford Ploughing championships this year
On Wednesday, April 3, chairperson of the Longford Ploughing Association (LPA) Cynthia Geelan Cruise hosted a ploughing workshop for over 60 students and their teachers from secondary schools throughout County Longford.
The last Ploughing workshop held in County Longford was held near Ballymahon almost 40 years ago and the first session this year took place at the headquarters of Kiernan Milling in Granard, where the students received a talk on the Ploughing Association, farm safety and a presentation from An Garda Siochana.
Garreth Carroll of Kiernan Milling then gave a detailed insight into feed production at the mill and led everyone on a tour of the plant, where operations, nutrition and blending was explained.
The afternoon session then took place on Patrick Durkin's farm, where students were divided into four groups and rotated around a selection of workshops.
Teagasc advisor Francis Bligh facilitated an interactive discussion on farm safety, explaining faults and parts needing repair on a tractor.
Longford Ploughing members then gave working demonstrations and tutoring on 'loy digging', 'horse ploughing' and 'tractor ploughing'.
The NPA organised a 'judging workshop' where the marking scheme for competition ploughing was explained. As they viewed last weeks competition plots on the field, a clear insight into the standards expected in ploughing was presented.
“I hope both the students and teachers enjoyed discovering what was involved in ploughing and organising a match,” Cynthia Geelan Cruise said.
There were also five representatives from the NPA in attendance on the day and the students involved came from Mercy Ballymahon, Ballymahon Vocational School, Ardscoil Phádraig, Meán Scoil Mhuire and Moyne Community School, in what was an enthralling day of ploughing action.
God speed the plough.