A Leighton Buzzard man, who is chairman of the Hertfordshire Agricultural Society, is inviting locals to attend a bank holiday farming extravaganza which is expected to attract up to 35,000 visitors.
The Herts County Show takes place on Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26 at The Showground, Dunstable Road, Redbourn, and Kevin White says traditionally there is always a strong turn-out from the Leighton Buzzard area.
Once again the Harpenden Building Society, in Market Square, is supporting the show by being a ticket outlet in the town.
After leaving school Kevin attended Cannington College to learn dairy farming. He then worked on a number of local farms around Ivinghoe Aston, Eaton Bray and Ringshall. During this time he worked for Paul Gent showing dairy cows at the show. In 1987 he was also chair of the Hertfordshire Young Farmers and through that was appointed onto the Hertfordshire Agricultural Society show committee.
Kevin was elected chairman of the Society in November 2016. He said: “This is my third and final year of chairing the Society and this is the 133rd show of a society that has been around since the early 1800s.
“The show itself has 130 stewards, volunteers, over the weekend to stage it, a number of key ones are drawn from Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding area. Both the senior light horse steward and main ring steward live in Leighton Buzzard.
“We know from our online ticket sales that there is strong support from Leighton Buzzard and I think that is down to it being a traditional market town and people who have moved here value the surrounding countryside.”
On Saturday, Kevin, who is married with his two daughters both studying at Shuttleworth College, was busy at the showground marking it out so the contractors can start to erect the marquees. He said: “This weekend we will be building all the sheep pens up, there will be in excess of 300 sheep, fortunately both my daughters will be assisting me and the team doing it. In real terms we already have ideas for 2020’s show so the planning is probably running around 14-18 months in advance.”
This year’s event will be showcasing the national Red Poll Cattle Society competition. There are two Horse of the Year qualifiers (miniature horses on the Sunday and show jumping on the Saturday). The sheep marquee has proved so popular that entries have already closed.
There is an extensive Food and Farming area, run by local farmers, with lots of hands-on opportunities for children – including this year a make your own lunch, as well as plenty of local produce to purchase for later. The Secret Life of Pets will also have a red carpet out and doggie ice cream on their stand showcasing their new movie release.
In addition to this there is the ever-popular sheep show, BMX biking and Strongman, plus a full main ring of attractions with a strong agricultural flavour.
As well as the Harpenden Building Society outlet (cash only), tickets (and more information) are also available online at www.hertsshow.com
Local schools have been invited to apply for free children’s tickets too.
And teachers can sign up for a free session at The Showground giving them an overview of farming in the UK and an opportunity to share ideas on ways to embed food and farming into different subject areas. It’s suitable for Key stage 1 & 2 levels and takes place on Thursday, May 23 (4pm–5.30pm).
Contact Sarah Moreland on email@example.com to register your interest.