For the first time, the JRC exhibited at Ireland's largest agricultural fair, the National Ploughing Championships, held from 20 to 22 September in Dublin. With over 1,000 exhibitors and an attendance of estimated 200,000 participants, this event covered a spectrum of agri-related activities from forestry and renewable energy to animal husbandry and food/feed safety.
The European Union Stand was full from 09:00 every morning until 18:00 every evening with an unexpectedly high attendance of teenagers and young people. Jobs, growth and innovation were frequently discussed. The fact that Europe needs a million more scientists to achieve its targets sparked interest among the youth and particularly among those who are engaged in science and research.
The JRC displayed its work on forestry and the European Forest Fire Information System, the Land Parcel Identification System, soil, farmland biodiversity, GMOs and food safety with an emphasis on food contact materials. In addition, general introduction of the JRC and presentations on JRC jobs and careers, as well as an overview of the JRC's work on environment and sustainability were delivered over the three days.
On 21 September, the Irish Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Phil Hogan
, visited the EU stand and showed interest in the JRC's work. Before leaving, he expressed interest to visit the JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) in Ispra.
JRC's presence also served as a good awareness raising campaign in the run up to the next European Science Open Forum, which will take place in Dublin in July 2012.