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Fri 2 August 2019
At this time of the year Summer Agricultural Shows are in full swing across the country.
I have felt privileged to have been invited to judge cattle and sheep at National, County and one day shows and well as being heavily involved with The Royal Three Counties and commentating at Burwarton. All of these duties bring a range of emotions but the over-riding factor is how much the industry and those people within it give freely and willingly of their time, expertise and commitment to a cause which literally hundreds of thousands of people enjoy and can see at close quarters, the quality of products and stock which the farming community produces.
The hundreds of volunteers from John O’ Groats to Land’s End who dedicate themselves not only on the actual show days but the many months in preparation for the “Big Day” are frankly the “back bone” of any show society – all for a free lunch (if they get time) – plenty of “suggestions” from competitors and visitors and at the end of the day sore feet, tired limbs and NO pay!!
What other industry would have so much resilience in its ranks? If you want anything done in any sphere the first question is “what’s the pay”! Imagine if this was the question asked by anyone at any show – quick answer the show would not exist.
Everyone involved has a common aim to “make it work” and be part of a successful organisation which the general public appreciate (hopefully) and contemparies from other Agricultural Societies admire (and or sympathise) all looking for new ideas to “wow” visitors at their own shows, but while everyone is working hard, very hard there is of course, the education factor to all our customers – “The Great British (and European) public”.
They visit shows obviously to have a good time and pamper themselves with retail therapy but, there is also the sublime factor of taking on board how all agricultural products are produced and made available to them through whichever retail outlet they support.
We should not be afraid of standing up and being proud of what we produce – there will always be the section of the community who are against “a balanced diet” in a democracy they are entitled to their opinion albeit misguided but the majority of people are better informed and do appreciate the finer things in life. What attracts the biggest main ring crowds at ANY show – the Grand Parade of Livestock (and sometimes the Kings Troop) – it is a celebration of livestock and the people who produce them, their expertise, patience, ability and all these attributes that make that part of our industry essential. If you don’t get a “lump in your throat” when you see the main ring packed with cattle, sheep, horses and a pig or two you are unfortunately missing something.
Hats off and three cheers for all those volunteers not only are they the back bone of the shows but, perhaps more importantly the back bone of our industry.
Clive C Roads
Worcester Market - (01905) 769770