The Greatest Online Agricultural Show

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Saturday 02 May 2020

The Greatest Online Agricultural Show

The Greatest Agricultural show was born and will go online on May 2nd.

The show has chosen five rural welfare charities to support, including RABI, RSABI, FCN, YANA and The DPJ Foundation.  A large number of businesses and rural organisations are involved in hosting various areas of the show and trade stands are being encouraged to make a charity donation for their presence.   

The event’s founder, David Hill, a rural Estate Manager from Berkshire describes the context for his idea.

“For centuries, agricultural shows have been central in the social calendar of rural communities as a place to gather, socialise, trade and compete against each other with the finest livestock, crops and horses. 

“The agricultural show has weathered many storms, including surviving two world wars in the last century and dramatic crises like foot and mouth disease.  The lockdown of movement has forced many show organisers to cancel their 2020 events, starving communities of an important community gathering, denying thousands of traders the opportunity to promote themselves and halting important fundraising opportunities for charities at a time when they are more in need than ever.

One Friday morning, not so long ago, David came up with a solution, which was to take the key elements of a show and run them online. 

“I had an idea on the way into work one morning, there’s no reason why some of the fun of shows couldn’t be run online.  We could have a Twitter-based show with livestock competitions judged by the public.  We could have some video demonstrations of skills or trades and we could have a beer tent”. 

David did not anticipate the huge support that the idea would gather.  “I set up a Twitter account and followers started streaming in, within 24 hours, I had over 1,000 followers. I realised just how much enthusiasm there was for this idea, so I decided that I would make it happen.  I was blown away by the offers of support”.

Andrew Lazenby, Chief Executive of Innovation for Agriculture spotted the show at its early stages and contacted David to offer support in getting the infrastructure together to help make the show a reality. 

He said: “I am humbled and delighted to have been involved and must use this opportunity to particularly thank our brilliant web designers, Altido. This has been a particularly difficult time for them, as not only have we set them an impossibly tight deadline, but they have also tragically lost a much-loved team member to the coronavirus during these last few weeks. A sharp reminder that behind all the fun of our Show, we must all stay at home. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all involved who have moved imperfect mountains in minutes to be where we are today, and I very much hope you all enjoy the show.”

The show will run as a one-day event hosted on the website www.OnlineAgShow.co.uk, it will be accompanied by social media activity.  The show will feature livestock competitions, food and craft tents as well as a beer tent with live chat and entertainment.  The main show ring will play host to displays including the RAF Red Arrows, The JCB Dancing Diggers and the now retired Vulcan Bomber, all streamed to the audience.

David adds, “the show is free to attend, and everyone is welcome.  Gates will be open between 9am and 5pm on Saturday 2nd May and the weather is guaranteed to be perfect!”

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