It’s all happening at the National Dairy Council

Anna and Marty dancing
Anna and Marty dancing

The National Dairy Council (NDC) has something to please all tastes at this year’s National Ploughing Championships (17th to 19th September) with an exciting programme of events, cooking demos, tastings, education, healthcare experts...and a few celebrities at their stand over the three days.

Inspired by the new NDC advertising campaign – Love Irish Dairy – its all things romance at the stand on Day one. Love Island’s Greg O’Shea and RTE’s Marty Morrissey will be bringing Grá Island to the Ploughing with a special dating contest. The NDC will be looking for some eager male and female participants to take part and win some great prizes!

Ever heard of a milk sommelier?! The NDC searched all corners of the planet and found the world’s first Milk Sommelier - Bas de Groot from Holland. De Groot’s conception of milk mirrors what most of us have of wine, believing that terroir matters. A region’s climate, soil, and surrounding flora will affect the end result we taste. “Milk and wine are both made from living products,” explains de Groot “One is made by soil in the plants. The other is also made by the soil - with the cow in between”! Food Writer John McKenna will be chatting to Bas and conducting a special “Milk Tasting”.

2019 is the year that has really focused everyone’s mind on the importance of sustainability and climate change. This is crucially important to the agri-food sector and so the NDC have designed their very own Climate College - An interactive maze full of entertainment, activity and education to feed the senses and the imagination. Children can learn about climate change, animal, welfare, Irish Farming’s best practices, sustainability and much more through memorable and fun activities. Soil, grass, water and energy will be a key focus on the journey.

Its all about Health and Nutrition this year with a dedicated health screening area at the stand. The NDC will have three screening areas all manned by expert nurses from Cappagh Hospital in Dublin. Why not get your blood pressure taken at the Health Heart centre, check your weight and BMI and check out those tired feet with the specula Foot and Wellie Clinic and get expert advice from their podiatrists!

From gorgeous Gouda to magnificent Milleens – Cheese addicts will be well catered for at the NDC stand this year. Much-loved Irish chef Donal Skehan, will be in attendance to chat about his life in LA and to show visitors how to make some of his delicious cheese recipes, produced through his ambassadorship of the European Milk Forum’s “Cheese. Your Way.” Campaign, implemented locally by the National Dairy Council to encourage more Irish consumers to enjoy quality cheese from Europe.

There will also be cheese tastings throughout the three days and a discussion on the history of cheese with Kevin Sheridan and Food Historian Regina Sexton.

The NDC will be joined on Day two by the fabulous Clodagh McKenna who will also be cooking up some delicious recipes at the demo area and talking about her role as Food Ambassador for the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards. Lilly Higgins will also be cooking up a storm with some delicious dishes in the demo kitchen on Day three.

As always, the NDC will have a showcase of the Cream of Irish Dairy produce from their Co-Ops with sampling throughout the three days.