Farmers likely to turn out in force at this year’s Devon County Show

Rural commentator Anthony Gibson predicts farmers will turnout in exceptionally high numbers at the Devon County Show held on May 18-20 at Westpoint, Exeter.

Mr Gibson OBE, an adviser to the Devon County Show, Director of the Royal Bath & West and formerly NFU South West Regional Director, said uncertain times triggered by Brexit would attract the farming community.

He said: “I think we could see a record turnout of farmers in modern times - partly because of all of that, partly because everyone’s either up together or ahead of the game with their farm work, thanks to the wonderfully dry April, and partly because there’ll be more than ever for farmers to see, talk about and buy.

“There’ll be plenty of discussion at the Show, which is the first major Show since Article 50 was triggered, and, whether it’s at the CLA breakfast on the first morning, or in the NFU pavilion with Meurig Raymond on Thursday and Minette Batters on Friday, or in the YFC marquee for their debate on Friday morning, or at just about any time of the day or night in the Members’ and the stock lines.”

Claire Bellew, Chairman of Devon Young Farmers, said she was delighted to announce a record number of entries in the YFC marquee and competition classes running from Wednesday evening on May 17 through to Saturday afternoon on May 20.

In addition to the competitions and fun of the Show, the YFC will focus on a darker side of farming. Ms Bellew added: “One of our main aims is to push farm safety following the tragic loss of one of our own members [Lauren Scott] in March.” 

Agricultural suppliers, including the Show’s major sponsor, Mole Valley Farmers, will be at the Show in strength, at the centrepiece of a hugely impressive farm machinery section right at the heart of the showground.   Mole Avon Trading Ltd is also back at the Show, overlooking the livestock arena along with the NFU, Crediton Milling, Crediton Dairy and a variety of major agricultural companies.

Entries are holding up well with an amazing, record 1,536 sheep and, on a par with last year, are beef and dairy cattle, pigs, dairy and angora goats and alpacas.

Mr Gibson said: “The Show’s pride and joy - the livestock - will show the commitment which the livestock farming community in Devon has to its premier showcase. One way and another, it should be a great farming show!”



Notes to editors:

Devon County Show - May 18-20 at Westpoint, Exeter:

  • This is the 122nd Show - the first was held in 1872
  • The Devon County is one of the South West's most iconic and enduring annual events attracting up to 95,000 people.
  • The Show is an impressive rural show window showcasing award-winning livestock, the finest food and drink and rural living at its most vibrant
  • The County Show is the flagship event of the Devon County Agricultural Association (DCAA), which has played a leading role in the development of agriculture, education and the rural economy in Devon since its formation in 1872.