The President of one of the biggest shows on the Staffordshire calendar says its commitment to excellence remains the highest priority as it gears up for another blockbuster year.
Staffordshire County Show president Mike Heenan said it was vitally important to keep traditional agricultural shows stronger than ever before because they showcase the very best in the agricultural world – they also offer a great couple of days of entertainment during the half term holidays on May 31 and June 1.
“Staffordshire County Show has been going 217 years now. It has been and continues to be at the very heart of the rural community.
“It is a public demonstration of what the agricultural community gives to the public at large,” he said.
“People can see the very latest farm equipment and development in breeding – it’s a shop window for the agricultural community.
“But it’s also more than that. There are many other attractions on show outside of the farming industry which we are proud to champion.
“We have been taking bookings for trade stands for some time and entries for the various livestock classes are coming in thick and fast.
“Sponsorship packages are popular and these are available to anyone who is interested – it’s never too late to become a sponsor.
“I’ve been involved with the show for a long time and many see it as unique. It is well attended, we had 65,000 people turn out for last year’s event and it’s a good educational vehicle for the young to learn about what goes on in a vibrant farming industry.”
Mr Heenan continued: “People can see how our milk and other food producers work efficiently in trying to keep our prices as reasonable as possible and there is the opportunity for the young ones to get close to the animals – something they might not otherwise get the chance to do.
“South Staffordshire College continue to be our main sponsors of the show and run a range of courses aimed at helping younger people get into farming. They will have a large presence at the event.”
As well as the significant agricultural influence, this year’s show also offers a full main ring programme, which includes the Bolddog Lings Motorcycle Display Team, a vintage farm machinery parade, Young Farmers’ floats, the Mounted Games Association, hounds and beagles and showjumping.
There will be an antiques fair, which will be hosted by Pat Dyer Antiques Fairs, bandstand concerts from Wabash Jazzmen and Lea Hall Brass Band, a cookery theatre and Food Hall in the Prestwood Centre, a craft show and 400 trade stands.
The Country Pursuits area will feature donkey rides, falconry, Sheep Show, the Quack Pack sheepdog and duck display, ferret roadshow, fly casting demonstration and competition, horse shoeing competition and the animal experience provided by South Staffordshire College.
Adrian Graham will be bringing along his giant Aldabra tortoises, their first appearance in this part of the country. The Aldabra can grow to a quarter of a tonne in weight when fully grown.
Mr Heenan said: “With so much to see and do you can do no better than to come along and get first-hand experience of this vision of the countryside community.”
Staffordshire County Show takes place on May 31 and June 1. Tickets go on sale at the Showground Office or the website from April 1. Trade stand information is available by telephoning 01785 258060 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the show and sponsorship packages that are available, visit the website www.staffscountyshowground.co.uk