Month: February 2014

Society Quarterly Report 20 February 2014

Society Quarterly Report 20 February 2014

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SOCIETY QUARTERLY REPORT 20 FEBRUARY 2014

The highlight of the first quarter of the current financial year has been the success of LAMMA. Despite being one of the wettest winters on record the show proved to be a huge success although we are now in the position of waiting for the ground to dry out so that necessary remedial work can take place on some of the grassed areas that have been heavily worn.

The Briefing Media and LAMMA teams worked very closely with our internal teams during the building up of the event, which was a akin to military operation which started on 2nd January.

Briefing Media were delighted with the event and we understand that record numbers – in excess of 40,000 people – came through the Showground over the two days. There were some traffic issues on the first day which were addressed on the second day by the traffic consultants and hopefully this will not be such a problem in future years.

Gregg Pryce and his team delivered 2,300 breakfasts on Wednesday, more than 2,000 breakfasts on Thursday and managed the catering throughout. Generally there was a huge buzz on the Showground for the two days.

We did open the Northampton Suite for Members and a few took the opportunity of enjoying a bacon roll and a hot cup of coffee and we intend to expand the use of the Northampton Suite during LAMMA so that members can have a quiet place to meet and enjoy a hot drink.

The other major highlight
so far this year has been the first class Smithfield Show run in December. Once again the Smithfield Festival was a resounding success. It remains a top class show of prime cattle and sheep with top quality judges as well as buyers. Harrods dug deep to secure the champion beast and lambs for their customers.

In the lead up to Christmas, SGS were particularly busy on the Showground and in the hospitality areas and as a result were well ahead of their budget for food and beverages for the first two months of the year. This is obviously an excellent start to the current financial year.

In terms of the Society we will be presenting a new Business Plan to Council on 12th February.

The objective of the Business Plan is for the combined operations to be cash neutral by the end of financial year 14-15 whilst continuing to run a majority of the shows that we currently enjoy at the Showground.

Commercial Agricultural Events on the Showground
In addition to the events that SGS and the Society will continue to run on the Showground, SGS have attracted a number of other events which may be of interest to our members which include:

LAMMA Beef Conference Potato Council Conference
Precision Farming CropTec UK Grain
Fengrain Conference

If you need further information about these events then please do not hesitate to contact the office.

Society Structure
Council approved four additional trustees at their meeting in November last year. The present Board was anxious to ensure there was sufficient succession in planning and a number of younger council members were appointed to the Board to represent the proposed new committees and for their professional expertise. The following were invited to join the trustees:
Charlie Reynolds, Chairman of the Agricultural Steering Committee; James Parrish, Chairman of the Marshal Papworth Committee; Mike Holland (property) and Ben Harris Chairman of the Membership and Social Committee.

Society Committee Structure
A number of new committees have recently been formed including the following:

The Agricultural Steering Committee under the chairmanship of Charlie Reynolds is currently being formed. This committee will be responsible for:
• Improving the agricultural content of the Society’s activities
• Farm Business Awards
• Livestock
• Smithfield Festival

The Kids Country / Education Committee is now under the chairmanship of Paul Tate who will be responsible for developing our Kids Country programme and particularly the Food and Farming Day in July. This year we are anticipating over 5,000 children attending the Showground for this day.

In addition this committee has been tasked with extending our educational programme beyond key stages 1, 2 and 3 and looking at developing a programme for secondary school students. The objective is not only to educate these students in agricultural and rural life but, if required, provide advice on employment within this sector and further education opportunities.

The Marshal Papworth Committee, under the chairmanship of James Parrish, is a well established committee which looks after our overseas agricultural charity. Working with a PR consultant, the Marshal Papworth Committee is about to finalise a vision document for the Marshal Papworth Fund together with substantial marketing material. The intention is to try and raise additional funds during the course of this year, particularly for the short course students in Shuttleworth.

The Membership and Social Committee, under the chairmanship of Ben Harris, has been in existence since the Autumn and has been responsible for organising a very successful Peterborough Dinner and is currently organising a Bangers and Mash Ball for March.

This committee will be responsible for:
• Ensuring the social requirements of the membership is met by the Society’s activities
• Ensuring that members receive value for money
• Working in conjunction with the Agricultural Steering Committee to develop a number of relevant knowledge transfer events
• Developing the membership numbers

Marshal Papworth
The Marshal Papworth Committee jointly with the Society have funded the drafting of a ‘case of funding’ by Conscious Communications. This will cater for funding together with backup documentation which will be used to try to raise additional funds for educating agricultural/horticultural students from developing countries particularly on the short course currently held at Shuttleworth. It is proposed this documentation will be live very shortly and a number of meetings are being set up with large companies and individuals that will hopefully provide additional funding steams.

SOCIETY MATTERS

Farm Business Awards
We are delighted to have two main sponsors on board for at least three years, supporting this year’s Farm Business Awards. Camgrain and Openfield have been working closely with the Society to establish a good working relationship from which we can develop and grow the Farm Business Awards. In addition Savills agreed this year to sponsor a new class, “The Young Farmer of the Year Award”. If you have an interest in entering the Farm Business Competition please refer to the website or telephone Kerry Buttriss on 01733 363511 or email Kerry at kbuttriss@eastofengland.org.uk.

Bangers and Mash Ball
The Social and Membership Committee have organised a black tie Bangers and Mash Ball in the Cambridge Suite for Saturday 15th March. We have sponsorship from Produce World, Grasmere Farm, Elgoods and Heineken and it promises to be an excellent night out for Society members with their friends and guests. There is live music from Vision and a disco. The menu is in consultation with award winning chef, Rachel Green.

Tickets are £50 a head which will include wine, beer and some soft drinks or a table of 10 for £450. Please email either info@eastofengland.org.uk or telephone 01733 363502 for more information and tickets.

Willow Maze
We have agreed with PECT (Peterborough Environment City Trust) to create a maze in the area beyond the Coates Barn. The willow maze is quite substantial and has already been laid out and planted with the help of CRS work from Perkins Engines. We are very grateful for their assistance. The expectation is that the willow maze will grow to a height so that it can be used in the summer of 2015 for school children and the following year for adults. The proposal is that schools, scout groups and other interest groups can book to use the maze at times to be agreed by the Society.

Communications
We are still very anxious to obtain email addresses for members who have them. This will allow us to keep members more up-to-date and reduce our costs. It is proposed that we send out regularly a newsletter/Society Snippets on a monthly basis and more detailed quarterly reports about the activities of the Society.

Please let us have details of your email address if you have not already done so.

We are trying to keep our website up-to-date and will be investing more time and effort in social media in the future.

We are also looking to upgrade the Northampton Suite for use by members on a more regular basis and we hope this will be completed over the next two months. Please feel free to contact me at the Society’s office if you have any issues you would like to raise or discuss and we look forward to seeing you at the Showground before too long.


J E Staples
20.2.14

Somerset Flood Relief

Somerset Flood Relief

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East of England Agricultural Society

 

Press Release 17th February 2014

 

The East of England Agricultural Society has wholeheartedly agreed to make a cash donation to the farming charity, Addington Fund.  The decision made at the recent Society council meeting will see funds go to this worthwhile cause to support their work in the Somerset Levels.

 

Continued flooding in these areas have seen entire farms submerged underwater and crucial forage and feed for livestock ruined. The Addington Fund is working closely with Sedgemoor Market ensuring the immediate priority is on the welfare of farm livestock.  Where fodder has been donated there is still a cost of transport and Addington will make a contribution towards the haulage costs so there is no hold up in getting vital supplies through.

 

Other donations within the East of England Agricultural Society have also been given with council member and farmer Harry Horrell. Harry has been working closely with Bill and Jenny Martin and as of Friday last week had loaded over 14 lorries with straw and hay from local farmers to help with the relief effort in Somerset.

 

“This is the worst flooding I have ever seen and as livestock farmers ourselves we can only try to do our bit to help our fellow farmers. Tesco’s have also been great in providing the transport and everyone has mucked in to help” Harry Horrell

 

To donate to help please contact either the Addington Fund on 01926 620135 http://www.addingtonfund.org.uk/contact-us/ or the NFU through this link http://www.nfuonline.com/news/latest-news/flooding-how-you-can-help/

 

Editors notes:

Press release issued by East of England Agricultural Society for more press information contact Jeremy Staples East of England Agricultural Society (01733 234 451) or email jstaples@eastofengland.org.uk