After a two year absence, last week saw the return of the 91st National Ploughing Championships which took place just outside of the village of Ratheniska in County Laois. With over 275,000 people in attendance at this year’s agricultural show, the atmosphere remained hugely positive throughout the three days despite the many challenges currently faced by farmers from all across the country. There was some great weather on the first two days of the show and despite some rainy showers on day three, this proved not enough to dampen anyone’s spirits. For the entire Micron Agritech team, it truly was an event not to forget!
“Each year the Ploughing Championships provide an excellent opportunity for budding entrepreneurs and innovators in the agritech and agri-engineering space to showcase their product at Europe’s largest outdoor event,” said Anna May McHugh, managing director of the National Ploughing Association.
Award winners at the Innovation Arena
Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships returned for 2022 and it was Micron Agritech’s second time to be listed as an award recipient. Back in 2019, the company received the Best Emerging Research Award at the Arena, so to now be crowned, 3 years later, with both the Overall Innovation (Start-Up) and Animal Health (Start-Up) Awards is a phenomenal achievement. Within the Innovation Arena itself, the future of the Irish agtech industry was on full display with everything from new machinery to software solutions that streamline processes and aid farm management, sensor, and automation technology along with innovative plant and animal science solutions. To be put placed side-by-side some of Ireland’s the best emerging innovations on the agtech market today demonstrates that, even in the face of uncertainty amongst the farming community, the agricultural sector is in safe hands with these new technological solutions. Check out Enterprise Ireland’s winner announcement video with Micron Agritech by clicking the link here.
“A strong farming heritage and cutting-edge technologies have made Ireland a global centre for agritech quality and innovation,” said Leo Clancy, Enterprise Ireland CEO, at the Innovation Arena event.
Speakers at the Micron Agritech exhibition tent
Throughout the week at the Ploughing Championships there were some very interesting presentations by special guests at the Micron Agritech tent each day. David Leydon, Head of Food & AgriBusiness at IFAC Ireland highlighted the multiple supports available to agri-businesses that are looking to manage the challenges they are facing around price inflations and the availability of on-farm labour. Next up was dairy farmer and dung beetles researcher, Bruce Thompson, who presented his findings into the benefits of dung beetles on pasture and how they can dramatically reduce the presence of parasites in the field. James Maloney, Senior Development Advisor for Agritech, Climate and Sustainability at Enterprise Ireland reflected on the success of this year’s Innovation Arena at the show and the many ways in which Enterprise Ireland are striving to back each of the extraordinary solutions Ireland are offering within the agricultural sector. And finally, Micron Agritech’s very own Product Manager, Mark Roche, discussed the many advantages at farm-level of regularly testing cattle and sheep for worms. With the ability of being able to rapidly test faecal samples for worms, farmers and vets can diagnose animals and decide on-site whether or not anthelmintic treatment is required.
Teamwork making the dream work
It goes without saying that by surrounding yourself with a passionate and hardworking team, great things begin to happen and this is exactly why the group at Micron Agritech are proud of the recognition received at the 2022 show. All members of the team collaborate and work extremely well together. Each interaction made with farmers, vets and other visitors at both Micron Agritech’s stands were insightful, positive and left a lasting memory for all the right reasons. The team handed out thousands of branded merchandise items from beanie hats to pens to air fresheners and even managed to share information leaflets to everyone who was kind enough to pop by our stands throughout the show. Christiane O’Brien, Lead Scientist at Micron Agritech, who only recently joined the Micron team, confidently jumped straight into speaking with vets and farmers about the benefits of rapidly testing animals for worms.
“Joining the company at the Ploughing Championships gave me a great insight into the industry’s need for rapid, on-site parasite testing. It was the ideal opportunity to witness the team’s passion for the product and the overwhelming positive response from the farming and veterinary community,” Christiane mentioned.
For Micron Agritech CEO, Daniel Izquierdo Hijazi, being recognised for all the hard work and dedication that has gone into the project since 2019 brings not only great pride, but a huge sense of reward off the back of what was a staggering two years during the coronavirus pandemic. The next goal for Micron is to continuously improve the technology and service offered to vets and farmers, with the next big step being the launch of the rapid fluke detection test in 2023.
“Being awarded the Overall Startup Award at the EI Innovation Arena serves as a recognition of the truly global potential Micron Kit has to make a major impact across the animal health sector,” Daniel surmised.