Agriculture is back on the agenda for Kent

The organisers of the Kent County Show on 7, 8, 9 July are delighted with the number of livestock entries and agricultural trade stands for the 2017 Show.
Kevin Attwood, Chairman, said

“For the past few years the County Show Team, which includes staff, committees and volunteers has worked exceptionally hard to encourage our farming community to attend the Show. Kent has a large number of farmers and businesses that work in the fruit sector and July is a very busy month for many of our growers. Therefore, the fact that we have expanded and diversified the area and have gained the support of the industry is excellent news for our visitors.”

The Livestock Secretary, Amy Thomson was also delighted to report that Cattle and Sheep entries are at the highest they have been for five years. The area will see 422 sheep entries, 393 cattle entries and 82 goat entries competing for the supreme crown.

There will also be a 115 calves, 130 lambs and 22 pens of pigs in the Kent Young Farmers Area. The Kent based youngsters also have a smaller marquee to house their 90 exhibits of poultry, Guinea Pigs and rabbits. The number of fleeces in the Wool Competition has also increased by 10%.
The Agricultural Area of the Show stretches from the Main Entrance up to the Clive Emson Exhibition Hall which will house the new look Food Hall. There is also a public restaurant in the area, called the Spitfire Restaurant, a good place to stop for refreshments.
The Livestock will be housed in large marquees and shedding and visitors will be able to see in excess of 50 different breeds of cattle, sheep and pigs during the three days. Competitions take place on each day with Judges looking for first, second and third place. Whilst every Judge may look for different aspects they are all based on each animal’s individual breed traits and ultimately on the worth of the animal in terms of food production or breeding. Some competitions look for handling skills, whilst others look at turnout which means that both the animal and handler need to be immaculate.
The Goat Tent and Poultry Tent are wonderful areas to visit with animal owners on hand to talk to visitors about the different breeds, raising livestock in your own home and explaining the benefits of milking your own goat or collecting your own eggs.

Visitors can watch sheep shearing in the agricultural area as part of the Hadlow College stand, then pop along to the Story of Wool Tent. This is a great place to take part in some activities and learn about the huge range of products that are still made from wool today. The Sussex Cattle Society and Jacob Sheep Society will be in the area promoting these breeds and new this year is Knowles Dairy, a unique vintage dairy both educational and entertaining.

This is a fully working dairy with all the sounds and smells you would expect from a vintage milking parlour.
In addition to the animals, displays and demonstrations there are a large number of agricultural trade stands to visit. The businesses and machinery on display plays a vital role in bringing all our produce from farm to fork. Haynes Agricultural, Versatile Equipment, Burden Bros Agri, Crawfords, Lister Machinery, Greenshields JCB, Fuel Oils, Glosrose and BobCat of London will all be displaying some of the equipment required to harvest and maintain produce in the field. These can often cost huge sums of money but have ultimately revolutionised the way we farm.
Rosie Gouldsworthy, Trade Stand Organiser, said

“To have so many machinery stands at the Show this year is fantastic, the public have shown a real interest in modern farm equipment over the past few years. This machinery is important to food production and essential in that the role they play in modern farming is communicated to a wider audience. We are grateful that these businesses take time out of their busy schedules to exhibit at the Show.”

Hadlow College will be in the area to highlight the incredible work of their students. Their large marquee will feature a lambing simulator which is used by the College to help students learn the techniques required to provide skilled assistance during lambing. Visitors to the marquee can also have a go at milking their life-sized model cow, Daisy. Younger visitors can try a lucky dip and meet Davina, the Equine Departments life-sized model horse. There will be paper pot making and seed pencil planting with their Princess Christians’ Farm staff. Hadlow Rural Community School will be showcasing students’ work, offering face-painting and selling our delicious apple juice, fresh from the Hadlow orchards.

The online ticket system is now open to purchase discounted tickets for the 2017 Show. A family ticket will cost £45 in advance or £50 when bought at the gate. The family ticket entitles 2 adults and 2 children aged between 5 and 15 a full day entrance. Children under 5 go free and parking is free. Adult tickets are £20.70 in advance and £23 on the gate, a child ticket is £6.30 in advance and £7 on the gate.
The Kent County Show starts at 8am and stays open until 6pm although there is no rush to leave as some of the food stands stay open later. The Show has over 150 different activities, workshops, displays and competitions which run throughout the day and are often repeated daily.

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