Farming communities need politicians' help
It is often said that farming is the ultimate profession of hope, a perennial battle against the seasons, ending in ultimate surrender to playing the hand you are dealt. The past year has been a particularly difficult one for agricultural communities. There was the terrible toll taken on families, which brought out the best of communities as the elements did their worst.
And today, as farmers come from all around Ireland to the National Ploughing Championships - Europe's largest outdoor exhibition - in Tullamore, many are wondering is there any prospect of salvaging their crops, 75,000 acres of which remain uncut due to poor weather.
The championships offer a rare chance to come together and discuss innovation, as well as how to meet the challenges ahead. As is always the case with such mass gatherings, plenty of politicians will be there.