A major push to encourage more livestock entries at this year’s South of England Show has been announced by the South of England Agricultural Society (SEAS).

The incentives include increased prize money for cattle champions, appearance money and free tickets to the traditional Stockman’s Dinner.

The changes were announced by SEAS as being “aimed at helping support our British livestock farmers and recognising the effort and expense of exhibiting, while also fostering public education about their essential work”.

Alongside the cash boost for livestock farmers, the show will feature a number of elements designed “to connect with and support farmers and exhibitors”. They include:

  • A stand from The Rural Payments Agency to promote direct engagement and information exchange
  • A Technical Forum focusing on how agriculture can better connect with the public
  • A panel talk featuring the NFU and other industry leaders
  • A ringside farmers’ marquee, hosted by Long Man Brewery
  • Improvements to the stockman’s marquee at the showground.

The Supreme Beef Champion and Supreme Dairy Champion will now receive £500, with reserve prizes increasing to £350. Additionally, the Inter Breed Teams of Four Beef and the Dairy Breeders Group will benefit from enhanced prize money pots of £2,100 and £525 respectively.

Appearance money of £30 per head of cattle (excluding calves) will now be paid, and free tickets to the traditional stockman’s dinner will be allocated based on the number of animals brought to the show.

Martyn Sands, chair of the cattle committee for SEAS said: “These enhancements signify our unwavering commitment to the livestock exhibitors and farmers who make the South of England Show a showcase of excellence.

“By recognising their efforts with increased rewards and creating new opportunities for engagement, we aim to elevate the experience for exhibitors, and with other additional elements for the public, including bringing back the vintage dairy display and increased informational signage, to educate the public about their vital role in our society.”