Farming

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All-Star line-up to hail benefits of milk

LEADING GAA stars will be lending their support to the National Dairy Council (NDC) at the Ploughing Championships where they will be promoting the important role milk can play in sports' nutrition.

The NDC's All-Star line-up includes Wexford camogie captain Una Lacey and Kerry footballer Darran O'Sullivan (Tuesday, 11-2.30pm); Kilkenny legend Eddie Brennan and Galway's multiple All Star defender Ollie Canning (Wednesday, 11-2.30pm), and Dublin's 2011 All-Ireland-winning captain Bryan Cullen (Wednesday, 10am-2pm).

Staying with the sporting theme, the NDC's 'penalty shoot-out zone' will offer visitors the chance to win an FAI Family Season ticket each day of the Ploughing, as well as sports' equipment and sports' vouchers.

The competition highlights the NDC's support for the FAI's Football for All Programme.

Wexford chef Phelim Byrne will also be present at the NDC Dome for the three days and he will be showcasing the use of Irish dairy produce in his daily cookery demonstrations.

Phelim, who runs his own cookery academy, catering company and the Séasúir Bar and Bistro in Wexford, was named one of Ireland's best chefs in the 2012 Bridgestone Guide.

Meanwhile, SuperValu will use the Ploughing Championships to launch its 'Better Together Programme Sustainable Farming Programme'.

SuperValu retailers support over 30,000 jobs nationwide and 75pc of all products sold in SuperValu stores are sourced or produced in Ireland, contributing €1.6bn annually to the Irish economy.

CHALLENGES

Finally, Samaritans volunteers will be on hand at the Ploughing to offer confidential emotional support and raise awareness of the challenges faced by rural and farming communities -- both from cutbacks to services and the recent poor summer weather.

"Our wet summer this year has proven a huge challenge to farmers and their families throughout the country," said Ann Barron, director of the Waterford and South East Samaritans.

"This, coupled with the effects of rural isolation and cutbacks to local services such as public transport, may have had a devastating effect on the mental wellbeing of many rural people. Our volunteers are here to help these people, who may be finding it difficult to cope."

Indo Farming