Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, and EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan were among the visitors to Macra’s stand at the National Ploughing Championships.
The organisation’s new and improved stand drew a large crowd over the course of the championships at Ratheniska, Co Laois, with attendance breaking records.
Among those also dropping by were MEP Mairéad McGuinness, and reporters from UTV Ireland and Irish TV.
This year, Macra’s stand included a positive thoughts wall, with words of wisdom being doodled on the space throughout the three-day championships.
The idea formed part of Macra’s focus for this year in promoting positive mental health.
The big draw however was the organisation’s young farmers calendar, with the Taoiseach delighted to meet some of the models, including Marita Kelly from Waterford.
The initiative will benefit both Macra and Walk in my Shoes, a national awareness and fundraising campaign empowering people across Ireland with mental health difficulties to speak up and seek help.
The cheeky calendar was the talk of ploughing and received coverage on TV, radio, in national newspapers, and online.
Among those getting their hands on a copy of the calendar was broadcaster Matt Cooper and comedian Al Porter.
The Macra Ploughing Class also took place and was won by Longford member, Stephen Reynolds.
County rounds took place place over the last few months with finalists taking part including Elaine Doyle from Cork’s Seandún region, David Murphy from the Rebel County’s Avondhu region, Stephen O’Callaghan from Cork’s Imokilly region, and Barry Walsh from Carbery.
Calendars are now on sale from the national office on 01 4268900.
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