The centenary of the Kent County Agricultural Society (KCAS) was celebrated in fine style at the 92nd annual Kent County Show, held at the showground at Detling, Kent.
Society chairman Julian Barnes highlighted the success of the show, which has only been cancelled on eight occasions because of war or pandemic, when welcoming guests to the President’s Luncheon on the opening day of the three-day event.
The chairman stressed the importance of making farming relevant to young people and highlighted the success of the society’s annual Living Land event, with its emphasis on education, agriculture and the countryside.
The theme was continued when Harriet Booth, Chairman of the Kent County Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC), told guests about the importance of the young farmers’ movement in inspiring young people to get involved in agriculture. She pointed out that with farming often a lonely occupation, being able to get together with like-minded people was vital, and said the show was the highlight of the year for YFC members.
Society President The Hon William Boscawen said the county show was the largest annual event in the county and said that this year’s event featured a “phenomenal display of cattle and sheep”. He also said he was “incredibly proud of the young farmers area” and urged guests to visit it.
This year’s event, which continued to focus on agriculture, animals and education following the 2022 show, also featured a parade in the main ring that highlighted ‘100 years of farming’.
Visitors enjoyed an increased number of livestock entries, a greater number of equine competitors and more trade stands, heritage vehicles and floral displays.
As was fitting in the charity’s centenary year, the show enjoyed a visit by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, a long-standing Patron of the Society who first visited the Kent County Show in 1968 and has made many visits over the years.
During his tour, the Duke was able to find out more about a number of Kentish businesses in the Produced In Kent marquee, greet some of the cattle exhibitors and their animals and enjoy the wide range of heritage machinery, vintage cars, agricultural engines and other exhibits.
As part of a commitment to supporting new businesses and start-ups, this year featured a dedicated area entitled the ‘New Kent Road’ which offered visitors a chance to browse and buy hand-made and bespoke products, crafts and gifts.
Founded in 1923, KCAS provides grants to Kent Young Farmers Clubs and offers university scholarships to students in related fields. The Society also provides free education on farming to young children through the ‘Farming in the Classroom’ initiative and the Living Land event.
Julian Barnes added: “It has been a great honour to lead the society into its 100th birthday, as we continue to showcase everything that the rural sector has to offer to the county’s economy.
“In planning the event, we were determined to keep to our rural heritage while providing an affordable family day out that was both fun and informative. On all of these points I feel we have succeeded.
“As always, the event would not happen without the support of our army of volunteers, all of whom give up their time so selflessly, the generosity of our sponsors and the dedication of our operational team.”
Next year’s Kent County Show will be held from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 July.
- Supreme Champion Beef Brockhurst Riddle, British Limousin – exhibited by Mary Cormack
- Supreme Champion Sheep WJ & MO Abram with a Black Faced Texel
- Sheep young handlers Cameron Clark
- Dairy Young Handlers Kayliegh Crampton
- Beef Young Handlers Danielle Summer