The Green Acre Marketing team attended the FTMA Farm Machinery Show at Punchestown on July 5th and 6th. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

There’s no substitute for literally being in the field, as our attendance at the FTMTA Farm Machinery Show at Punchestown held on July 5th and 6th offered a welcome reminder of. 

Arriving at the Event Centre before the hustle and flow generated by the visiting public gives comms teams and on-site media an opportunity to anchor their kit before walking among the hulking machinery on show.

Leading up to and during FTMTA, Green Acre Marketing publicised the event via a series of video campaigns, online promotions, press releases for print media along with radio promotion and interviews. We also spoke to and filmed a range of exhibitors at Punchestown, who took us through the latest innovations that were showcased to patrons.

On both days of this year’s event, there was an impressive and extensive level of contemporary agri engineering to take on board.

Combines, disc harrows, sprayer wagons, harrows, autonomous weeders and seeders, mowers, balers, telehandlers and slurry equipment: none are items bought on a whim or without a good level of homework beforehand, let’s face it.

The ‘research’ so many now routinely turn to an online search engine to convene was previously and almost exclusively based on face-to-face or phone conversations between retailer and farmer.

An event like the FTMTA Show maintains that connection to a time when we didn’t possess handheld devices with greater technological capabilities than what propelled NASA astronauts to the moon over 50 years ago. That was a time when farmers relied on their own wits and established knowledge when making the trip to their local machinery supplier and when the merchant in turn recognised that an informed customer would soon be in the forecourt.

As FTMTA Executive Director Michael Farrelly told us: “The visiting public themselves help to set this show apart. They’re predominantly machinery people who want to have conversations with experts about farm machinery – and they couldn’t be in better hands given the calibre of exhibitor this show continues to attract year after year.

“The grounds here at Punchestown lend themselves to hosting an event like this and once again provided a top-class location to showcase cutting-edge farm technology, innovative machinery and industry-leading advice.”

Be it tyres or machinery parts, signage or farm finance, or the latest advancements in monitoring one’s herd, the stands at FTMTA’ 23 were happily occupied by experts in all areas.

“The visiting public are predominantly machinery people who want to have conversations with experts about farm machinery,” said FTMTA Executive Director Michael Farrelly. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

At a time when one would be forgiven for thinking that the industry is experiencing some level of flux given the coverage devoted to farming beyond its natural agri-page habitat, the positivity in Punchestown was palpable.

“The level of interaction over both days between exhibitors, farmers and farming bodies has been very encouraging,” said Michael Farrelly.

“We had members of the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine’s Targeted Agriculture Moderinsation Scheme (TAMS) attending the show, seeing the standard of machinery that’s on offer. So to have such interaction between our industry, the Department, the dealers and manufacturers is tremendously positive. The FTMTA’s primary objective is to promote this industry, to do whatever we can to help develop the farm machinery industry in line with what’s happening both on the ground and at government level – and you could really see that in action over both days.”

FTMTA President Karol Duigenan spoke of his delight with the level of public support and industry expertise in evidence at Punchestown.

“This was our 34th show and the second successive year that we held the event outdoors. And while the challenge facing the sector is something we’re all acutely aware of, there was a real sense of optimism on both days, which bodes well for the future of Irish agriculture.”

As for what guise future FTMTA Farm Machinery Shows will take, Michael Farrelly stated: “We’d envisage it returning to its pre-Covid iteration: a large indoor show, probably in a year that’s out of sync with Agritechnica (which will be held in Hanover from November 12th to 18th) and then hold a large outdoor event the following year. That’s what the industry is asking for and that’s what we’re aiming to get back to.

One can never overlook the welcome distraction provided by a day away from the regular workspace. And when you learn something new on such occasions, sure that’s as satisfying as the first feed of new spuds.

So it’s no surprise that the FTMTA Show has sustained itself since its inaugural show, held at the RDS back in 1989. Green Acre Marketing is looking forward to its 2024 iteration already!

Dermot Reddan aged 5 from Kenmare, County Kerry pictured at the FTMTA Farm Machinery Show, Ireland’s largest dedicated machinery event, which took place at the Punchestown Event Centre in Naas on July 5th and 6th. Photo: Dylan Vaughan