LAOIS woman and chairperson of the National Ploughing Association, Anna-May McHugh was honoured last week at the Ernst and Young Entrepeneur of the Year awards.
The Ballylinan native received this year’s special award for her outstanding contributions to rural life in Ireland. The prestigious award is presented each year to an individual recognised for applying entrepreneurial vision outside a traditional business setting, which helps benefit of the entire island.
Anna May was delighted with her award and told the Leinster Express that she had a “beautiful evening” at the ceremony which was held in City West last Thursday.
“It is only sinking in now, it didn’t at the time. It is great for the National Ploughing Association, it is wonderful recognition for them,” she said.
Speaking about this year’s National Ploughing Championships, Anna May said that they were a great success.
“It was a very good location and the weather was good. The feedback we’re getting is that there was quite a bit of business done this year,” she said..
This year’s championships attracted over 180,000 visitors as well as hosting over 1,000 exhibitors. It is one of Europe’s largest outdoor exhibition and agricultural trade shows. Next year’s event will be held in New Ross
Frank O’Keeffe of Ersnt and Young said that it was an honour to present this award to such a stalwart of rural life.
“Anna-May has developed the National Ploughing Championships from a niche, rural-based festival that traditionally marked the end of the annual harvest, to the internationally-recognised celebration of the very best that Ireland’s agri-business community has to offer.
“Having recently marked an incredible personal milestone of reaching 60 years with the association, Anna-May has demonstrated an unparalleled degree of energy and commitment that stands as a shining beacon of inspiration to us all,” he said.