The President says farming needs to be protected as a way of life.
Michael D Higgins was speaking on the first day of the National Ploughing Championships in Co. Offaly where up to 100 thousand people are attending.
President Higgins believes that rural communities have to be preserved:
Ploughing Championships 2017. Picture is President of Ireland Michael D Higgins at the first day of the Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore. Photograph: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie