New Future of Farming Line-up Announced

Royal Three Counties Show, 14th-16th June 2024

Water quality, soil health, biodiversity, succession planning, the latest developments in agri-tech and the positive role cattle can play in improving the environment are some of the big conversations due to take place during the Royal Three Counties Show at Malvern between 14th– 16th June.

Industry experts from across the UK will be among the guest speakers at the event’s Future of Farming Theatre to guide, inspire and challenge those at the sharp end of agriculture and sponsored by Lightsource BP and Virgin Money.

There will be help and advice for growing and improving land-based businesses, including discussions over making the most of assets and finding alternative incomes and support in the current financial climate, and ample opportunities for asking questions and networking too.

The session on the role of cattle in being part of the solution and not the problem when it comes to the environment is expected to generate a large audience. Chaired by Paul Westaway of Melview Farming, the speakers will include Dr Lisa Morgans, a Vet and Senior Lecturer in Animal Health and Welfare at the Royal Agricultural University; Professor Jude Capper, ABP Chair of Sustainable Beef and Sheep Production at Harper Adams University and Arran Redman, Soils and Natural Resources Adviser from Innovation for Agriculture and Royal Agricultural Society of England.

Arran will be talking about benefits to soil health, habitat creation and conservation and whether regenerative farming is an opportunity for a rural circular economy.

“I believe the benefit from grazing patterns and management lead both towards animal health and welfare, as well as environmental benefits,” he says.

For Jude, excellent animal health and welfare lies at the foundation of a sustainable system, leading to improved economic viability, environmental responsibility and social acceptability.

“Mitigating or eliminating livestock disease reduces both greenhouse gas emissions and resource use within milk, meat and egg production,” she explains. “Proactive health management practices are a form of climate action – facilitating sustainable food production to fulfil growing demand while reducing environmental impacts.”

Lisa agrees: “A healthy thriving planet also means healthy, thriving people, plants and animals. Each one influences and impacts the other,” she says.

The session on making the most of farm assets will feature a virtual farm tour with a panel of experts, who will include Oliver Maxey, Head of Agriculture-England for Virgin Money; Hannah Moule, Founder and Planning Consultant at The Rural Planning Company; Ben Allman, Partner and Chief Operating Officer at Ballards LLP and Antony Pearce, Partner at Dudley Peverill Associates.

The wide-ranging schedule for The Future of Farming Theatre is just one of the highlights at this year’s Royal Three Counties Show.

The three-day event is one of the UK’s largest livestock extravaganzas, with no fewer than 900 classes across 35 judging rings and a prize fund of £110,000 provided by The Three Counties Agricultural Society.

Seventeen livestock breed societies will be holding their national shows in the farming village during the three days and there will be classes bringing together a large gathering of rare, minority and native animals.

Young farmers are encouraged to take part in the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s Junior Handlers’ Classes, and there will be a qualifying round for the Trust’s Young Shepherd of the Year competition.

Each day will be rounded off with the Grand Parade of Livestock in the Main Arena, with a new Group of Three Cattle class leading the parade on Friday, and the Prestigious Burke Trophies for Beef and Dairy Cattle taking centre stage on Saturday.

The Sheep Shearing area will be a hive of activity, with fleeces taken from 2,000 animals during competitions and demonstrations. Those interested in wool also be keen to visit the British Wool Fleece Show promoting the benefits of using British wool and explaining how fleeces are graded, promoted and sold.

The Royal Three Counties Show is one of the largest livestock and equestrian shows in the UK.

One of its chief aims is to support farmers and the rural community by raising awareness of the importance of British agriculture, providing professional development opportunities and hosting social events to bring people together. These include the CLA Big Breakfast on the Friday, Farmers Club and RASE events and the Stockman’s Dinner on Saturday evening.

The National Farmers’ Union Tent is another hub for farming discussions and members of Young Farmers’ Clubs are made welcome with their own village to hold activities and competitions, such as the Tug of War, plus the offer of discounted tickets.

There’s also an unbeatable opportunity to view and buy cutting edge equipment and find inspiration from the new ‘Machinery Mile’ as part of the Farming Village running from South Gate.

“Over the past century, the Royal Three Counties Show has become a much-loved event in the calendar,” says Alice Arnold, Royal Three Counties Show organiser. “It’s also one of the largest livestock and equine shows in the UK and  the Future of Farming Theatre creates provides a platform to shout about everything that is great about British Agriculture and the Countryside.”

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