Farm Ireland

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Tullamore Show’s National Inventions competition is an ideal launching pad for rural innovations

Derek Casey

Derek Casey

THE countdown is on for this year's Tullamore Show on August 12 which is expected to draw over 65,000 visitors for what is now well established as the country's largest one-day agricultural show.

Every year it attracts the best cattle, sheep, and equine breeders from all over the country, alongside entrants for its other 1,000-plus competitions with a total prize-fund of €175,000.

The Show might be best known for its livestock and tractors but in recent years it has diversified into a range of other areas; the result is a country lifestyle event that has something for everyone.

One section of the Tullamore Show we love to support here at the Farming Independent is the National Inventions Competition.

The inventions arena draws out the curiosity and inventor in every one of us, and it's a must-visit area for anyone planning a trip to Tullamore.

You are always guaranteed to meet some inspiring characters, and they all tend to have an infectious enthusiasm in their search for a clever invention and the chance to scoop top prize in their category.

Rodney Cow
Rodney Cow

Rodney Cox is the man who organises the Inventions Competition and he says there is a special focus this year on encouraging third level students from the agricultural colleges to submit entries.

"We have made a big drive to let the various colleges know that we want their students to get the creative juices flowing," Mr Cox explained.

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"Some of the brightest and best ideas come from people with farming experience from rural backgrounds; last year was a good example of that, when our overall winner was a young inventor who came up with an idea to help reduce farm accidents related to tractor driving.

"We are appealing to people with fresh ideas who perhaps need a bit of publicity and recognition to get their invention off the ground - this is the perfect opportunity. Last year saw the largest number of entries to date in the competition."

This year there are four categories for entrants:

Inventions in Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry

Inventions in Home, Leisure and Building

Labour-Saving Device

Student Class: An invention or Innovation.

The prize money in the above categories is: 1st €300, 2nd €200, 3rd €100. Exhibits can be new inventions or modifications to existing inventions. There will be a special award of €100 this year for 'Judges' Choice' from the overall exhibits.

Patent Office

A representative from the Government patent office may attend on the day to offer entrants advice and counsel on getting their idea patented and protected.

Once again there are three sponsors this year, namely ourselves here at the Farming Independent, WR Shaw New Holland tractor dealers in Tullamore, and Glenngorey Pumps of Newbridge in Co Kildare.

It is important for prospective entrants to note that this year judging commences at 10am on Saturday, August 11, which is the day before the Show. The result will then be announced during the Show at 3pm on Sunday, August 12, 2018.

If you're planning on visiting the Tullamore Show this year be sure to check out the Inventions section. As usual we will run a full report of the best inventions in our Tuesday, August 14 issue following the Show.

Tullamore Show's National Inventions competition is an ideal launching pad for rural innovations, writes Derek Casey

Last year 16-year-old Jack Nagle from Castlemaine, Co Kerry won top prize in both the Inventions in Agriculture and Student categories last year for his Tractor Safe Lock .

Jack's invention automatically applies a tractor's handbrake when the driver leaves the seat.

The Tractor Safe Lock uses a weight sensor on the seat that sends a signal to an air valve which in turn applies the tractor's handbrake.

Jack (pictured above), who would like to see such technology as standard on all tractors, was inspired to design the Tractor Safe Lock after his grandfather survived a bad farm accident some years ago.

The Safe Lock components as seen here cost around €350 plus fitting.

Indo Farming