Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen has enjoyed a day in the North West.
The Minister started with a visit to the Northern Ireland International Ploughing Championships at Aghanloo near Limavady. There she met representatives of the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association (NIPA), as well as officials, competitors and businesses participating in the event.
Miss McIlveen congratulated everyone involved: “The Northern Ireland Ploughing Championships are now in their 73rd year and attract competitors of the highest calibre. It is quite a sight to see exponents of this difficult art at work and the crowd clearly enjoyed the high degree of skill on show.
"Of course, with so many people coming to enjoy the ploughing, the event also provides an excellent showcase for a wide range of rural and agricultural businesses, particularly those producing and dealing in farm machinery.
“I very much enjoyed the opportunity to tour the stands and meet farmers, traders, competitors and visitors at what is NIPA’s blue riband event.”
From the ploughing championships, the Minister then travelled along the North Coast to the Giant’s Causeway for the 2016 Northern Ireland Potato Festival.
She said: “2016 is officially Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink and there is no doubt that our farmers and producers deliver high quality, unique, signature ingredients and products that represent the Province and which are some of the finest available anywhere.
"The NI Potato Festival showcases one of our staple crops. With the help of The Mighty Spud and the excellent range of participating local producers, the festival underlines just how tasty and versatile the potato continues to be.
"This is the fourth year of the event and what more fitting and spectacular setting than the Giant’s Causeway, one of Northern Ireland’s top tourist attractions, to showcase our award winning produce to the many local visitors and visitors from further afield.”
Miss McIlveen concluded: “The buzz at both of these events is fantastic and they are, along with the array of summertime agricultural shows and events, yet another example of the superb offering available in our rural areas across Northern Ireland.”
Notes to editors:
- The Northern Ireland International Ploughing Championships are organised by NIPA in conjunction with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. More information is available at the NI Ploughing website.
- More information on the Northern Ireland Potato Festival is available at the Northern Ireland Potato Festival Facebook page.
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