Posted by TheYank at 9/23/2009 9:23 AM EDT

They may call the event the National Ploughing Championships, but the trade show is really the center of attention. It's literally at the center of everything that goes on here. The plowing is - for me anyway - hard to find and on the outskirts of all that's happening. Having said that, the trade show is not without its merits as an attraction for this desk-bound, urban/suburban guy.

Two exhibitors in particular caught my eye this morning. One is selling log homes and the other is selling cosmetic products. Yup cosmetics, which tells you more about the people who come to the Ploughing Championships: they're not all farmers as you'd imagine them. There are a lot of women here and an equal share of the exhibits are targeted at women.

The exhibitors that caught my eye included:
Óg Ireland - making cosmetics out of Irish peat taken out of a bog in Offaly. The face mask product - looks like a tub of dark brown mud - is 100% peat and (according to John Kenny of Og Ireland) can help with acne, psoriasis and other serious skin issues.
JPK Log Homes - three men from this company explained to me how houses hand built of pine or cedar in Pennsylvania - with Amish labor, if I'm remembering correctly - are then shipped to Ireland and put together here. Sounded almost too fantastic to me. I couldn't get my head around the idea that shipping a house across an ocean could pay. They assured me it does. {They need to get that web site right.}
The Arch diocese of Dublin - both Catholic and Church of Ireland (Anglican) sharing a tent in a bid to woo the farmers back to church? Have the farmers also left? I didn't realize that.
The agricultural machinery distributor selling a 'cow wash' that looks like a small version of a car wash with the big rollers that scrub the cow top, sides and rump. I only wish it was in operation rather than sitting idle while a video showed how it worked.
For some reason I liked a lot of the agricultural equipment on display. Tractors, milking machines, silos, etc. Just so different from the usual broadband services and computer software type trade shows that I've attended frequently in the past.

John, James & Jimmy of JPK Log Homes. They showed me pictures of their American log houses and other buildings across the country.