Year: 2016

Tractor inspires road and farm safety message at Spalding Primary School

Tractor inspires road and farm safety message at Spalding Primary School

Spalding Primary School children were taught a memorable lesson in road and farm safety this week, with the help of a shiny new £125,000 John Deere tractor.

The Road Safety Week initiative was organised by Kids Country – the education arm of the Peterborough-based East of England Agricultural Society.

Around 200 pupils were introduced to the tractor by Zoe Spencer and Andy Webb of Fenland’s Doubleday Group. Back in the classroom they took part in activities organised by Kids Country’s Sandra Lauridsen and Jo Baker, which reinforced vital road and farm safety messages.

Assistant head teacher Rebecca Leighton described the visit as a “fantastic experience” for the children.

“They were amazed. Being able to get up close to a tractor and realising just how big it is was a real ‘wow’ moment for them. It underlined the message of how a tractor driver would not be able to see them if they were near it,” said Mrs Leighton. “There was a high degree of engagement by the children – which continued inside with an interactive session on the dangers posed by farm machinery of various types.”

Sandra Lauridsen, Kids Country’s Education Manager said: “We are always happy to help local schools with delivering important, potentially life-saving messages to their students. We understand the importance of this campaign, and our interactive and fun inclusion in the school’s programme is another example of the excellent hands-on events we deliver.”


I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your visit to our school. Your pre-visit support was brilliant, you had so many ideas  which met the brief.

The children absolutely loved seeing the tractor in real life and discussing the other types of farm machinery with you and Jo. You clearly shared the Road Safety message with the children in a fun and interactive way which was age appropriate for our youngest children. We can’t wait to visit in the summer!




A popular countryside initiative which inspires thousands of eastern counties schoolchildren with vital messages from the world of food and farming has been given a big boost by Central England Co-operative.

Kids Country, the education arm of the East of England Agricultural Society has announced an exciting, year-long sponsorship package with the Society. Central England Co-operative sponsorship will provide both financial support and local resource to support the 18 events that Kids Country will be holding during 2017.

The Kids Country programme consists of interactive, hands-on events about food, farming and the countryside for children in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, and Northamptonshire.

Activities include potato planting and harvesting, learning about chickens, bee observatory visits and the annual Food & Farming Day at the East of England Showground. In 2016, the programme reached over 6,000 children from across the Eastern region and beyond.

Speaking about the support from Central England Co-operative, Karen Ball, Member and Community Relations Officer said; “The Co-operative has a long tradition of giving back to the community, and we welcome the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives and education of local children. We look forward to building on our successful partnership with Kids Country, and bring a greater understanding of food provenance and the countryside to children through these wonderful events.”

The Kids Country team is headed up by Sandra Lauridsen, who commented on the sponsorship deal; “We are delighted to be working together with Central England Co-operative, whose values of making a difference mirror our own so closely. We are passionate about children’s rural education, and to have this recognised and supported so positively by Karen and her team is a real boost. Their support will help us to deliver an even more exciting and engaging programme in 2017.”

The sponsorship will commence on 1 January, just in time for Breakfast Week, which will see the Kids Country team and Central England Co-operative volunteers visit three local schools to help them learn about where our breakfast comes from.

Any schools who are interested in participating in a Kids Country event should contact the Education Team at the East of England Agricultural Society on 01733 363514.

We are recruiting

We are recruiting

As we continue to enhance  our activities an opportunity has opened up for a Membership and Communications Secretary to join the Society team to assist us in developing, delivering and promoting what we do. Please see the advert below and follow the link for the job description.

“The East of England Agricultural Society is a Charity that supports agriculture and rural life and based at Peterborough Showground is recruiting for a membership and communications secretary.

This is an exciting opportunity for a charismatic enthusiastic person with the flair, drive and skills to bring innovative and individual ideas to this position, while actively leading and developing the communication, at all levels, to engage and inspire our members and clients.

Your skills will be aimed at the overall promotion of the Society and the delivery of specific events.

The successful candidate would ideally have an interest in agriculture who is a creative ‘out of the box’ thinker who can engage with others.

Job description can be found here membership-and-communications-secretary-2016-jd

Please send your CV with a covering letter to:


Closing date 30th December 2016 and interviews will be held in mid January.

Innovation & technology to feature at region’s farming conference

Innovation & technology to feature at region’s farming conference

Innovation and new technology within farming will feature at the 2016 East of England Farming Conference.

The event, organised by the East of England Agricultural Society, is on Thursday 3 November 2016 at the East of England Showground, Peterborough.

Joining the impressive line-up of speakers are Gareth Davies, CEO & Co-Founder of YAGRO Ltd; Matt McLaren, CEO and co-founder of Entomics; Sachin Shende, Co-Founder & CEO, KisanHub, and Clarke Willis MBE, Group CEO, Anglia Farmers.

The ‘innovation & technology’ session will be chaired by Dr Tina Barsby, CEO, NIAB – a pioneering plant science organisation based in Cambridge. Tina is a plant geneticist and well-known for her scientific achievements and significant experience in the agricultural crop sector.

Representing YAGRO Ltd is Gareth Davies who founded his business in 2015. YAGRO offer an intuitive technology platform that allows farmers to do business across the major input categories. Gareth set up YAGRO after working in innovation and venture capital for Syngenta, based in Basel, Switzerland.

Matt McLaren co-founded Entomics in 2015. His business transforms food waste into fertiliser, protein feed and biodiesel using insects as the conversion catalyst. Originally from Australia, Matt spent more than five years as an Analyst at J.P. Morgan, and as a Senior Consultant leading projects across the pharmaceutical, financial services and manufacturing sectors.

KisanHub CEO, Sachin Shende, holds a Ph.D. in Computational Hydraulics from Loughborough University. Prior to founding KisanHub in 2012, Sachin managed the development of research analytics platforms for Barclays Global Investors and BlackRock. Today his business provides innovative platforms and products within agriculture including farm and field mapping, field sensor deployment and intelligent irrigation management.

Complementing the line-up is Clarke Willis MBE, Group CEO of Anglia Farmers, one of the UK’s leading co-operatives, linking supply chains from raw materials to retailer. Clarke’s presentation titled Tomorrow’s World: Vision of the Future will be an engaging talk about how farming practices are changing and looks at what farming could be like in 25 years.

Sponsors of the East of England Farming Conference include Anglia Farmers, Bayer CropScience, Brown & Co, Camgrain, Churchgates, EDGE Careers, Opportunity Peterborough, Roythornes, and Trelleborg.

Tickets can be booked by visiting

Registration on the day opens at 9.45am and the conference is scheduled to end at 3.30pm. Tickets include a two-course lunch made with locally-sourced ingredients.


Handwriting competition goes from strength to strength

Handwriting competition goes from strength to strength

Running for over 38 years the East of England Agricultural Society’s prestigious Queen Mothers handwriting competition remains steadfast in the 21st century.

The competition supported by Cross pens invites schools from across our region to take part to strengthen their handwriting skills. Volunteer judges whom are all past head teachers of schools select poems for the children to copy. These poems are carefully selected to include an increased level of punctuation, length of line and overall content for each class.

Four classes are made up from entries of Key Stage 1, 2, 3 and plus a special class which considers the special needs of the pupils. When selecting the winning entries the judges look in detail for correct copying of the poem, the formation of letters and words, correct positioning of punctuation and the overall presentation.

This year’s competition saw record entries of 6031 with first place winning awards going to Kings Hedges School, Cambridge, Cromwell Community College, Chatteris, Cambs and Friars Academy Wellingborough Northants.

Organiser of the competition Gemma Killingworth: “it’s fantastic that we are able to continue with this prestigious competition, the Society feels very strongly about the basic education needs of children and the handwriting competition allows schools, pupils and teachers to enjoy the rewards of their hard work.”

A presentation of certificates and an engraved Cross Pen took place on 28th September 2016 at Cromwell Community College.

From the left. Ella Harness 3rd prize, Jodi Dawson 2nd prize, Ellie Waters 1st prize.




Impressive line-up announced for East of England Farming Conference

Impressive line-up announced for East of England Farming Conference

Four leading figures from organisations including the Country Land and Business Association, Greenpeace, Tenant Farmers Association, and National Federation of Young Farmers, will profile post-Brexit opportunities within farming, at this year’s East of England Farming Conference.

The prestigious event, taking place at the Showground on 3 November 2016, brings farmers together to discuss important issues within farming, including challenges facing the next generation, as well as innovation within agriculture.

Headlining the first session on the agenda is CLA Deputy President and Cambridgeshire farmer, Tim Breitmeyer; Dr Douglas Parr, Chief Scientist and Policy Director at Greenpeace; Tenant Farmers Association Chief Executive, George Dunn, and Ed Ford, Vice President of the National Federation of Young Farmers.

Chaired by Richard Whitlock, the panel will discuss the opportunities farmers can embrace when Britain leaves the European Union.

Representing the CLA, Tim Breitmeyer is a well-known Cambridgeshire farmer at the Bartlow Estate. Servicing seven clients with contract farming, Tim has also developed a sugar beet harvesting and haulage business.

Dr Douglas Parr from Greenpeace is currently working on climate change policy in the power, heat and transport sectors, and also on the implications of Brexit.

George Dunn from the Tenant Farmers Association represents his organisation on the Tenancy Reform Industry Group and was a member of the DEFRA-established Future of Farming Review Group between 2013 and 2014. George is also a National Trust Specialist Volunteer on land-use issues.

Completing the line-up is Ed Ford, Chairman of Eastern Area Young Farmers and Vice Chairman of the National Federation. With his father and brother, Ed manages his family’s 1,500-acre farm in south Essex. Awarded the Farmers Guardian Farming Hero in 2014, Ed has recently completed the Challenge of Rural Leadership Course organised by the Worshipful Company of Farmers.

Headline sponsors of the conference include Anglia Farmers, Bayer, Brown & Co, Camgrain, Churchgates, EDGE Careers, Opportunity Peterborough, Roythornes, and Trelleborg.

Further information about the conference and ticket bookings can be found by visiting the conference website-

Members of the Society receive discount on the ticket price. Please contact the Society office for a code to book online.

Please call William Haire should you require any more information about the conference, trade stand and sponsorship opportunities on 01733234451 and select the Livestock/Agriculture option from the option list.

Press Release: Second East of England Farming Conference looks to future opportunities.

Press Release: Second East of England Farming Conference looks to future opportunities.



Second East of England Farming Conference

looks to future opportunities.


Challenges and opportunities for the future of farming will be the focus at the second East of England Farming Conference being held at the East of England Showground on 3 November 2016.

The conference, builds on last year’s inaugural event. Confirmed speakers include CLA Deputy President and Cambridgeshire farmer Tim Breitmeyer as well as Tenant Farmers Association Chief Executive George Dunn.

As post-Brexit options begin to be examined, the first session of the day will look particularly at the opportunities for farming outside the European Union.

The second session will highlight new technologies and innovation, while the afternoon session focuses on future challenges and how the next generation of farmers can rise to meet them.

This all day event offers networking opportunities and a fringe exhibition with stands from leading businesses.

Organised by the East of England Agricultural Society, the event benefits from sponsorships by Anglia Farmers, Bayer, Brown & Co, Camgrain, Churchgates. EDGE Careers, Roythornes and Trelleborg.

To book your place visit The conference begins at 10.30am and ends at 3.30pm. Tickets include a two course locally-sourced lunch.



For more information, contact Hayley Mace, Marketing manager at Anglia Farmers, on 01603 881 827 or email

Press Release: New classes introduced to 2016 Smithfield Festival

Press Release: New classes introduced to 2016 Smithfield Festival


The 2016 East of England Smithfield Festival has announced the introduction of three new classes for this year’s event, to meet changing industry needs and to appeal to the increasing number of young farmers that the event is now attracting.

The first new class for 2016 is the market ready beef pair, where two native and continental steers or heifers, which are ready for slaughter, will be judged for the honoured title. These animals will be judged in the pen so only minimal halter training is required. However, they must be under 650 kg live weight and from a farm assured holding to qualify. The champion and reserve will be offered for sale at the event.

A new breeding ewe lamb competition has also been added to the schedule and includes classes for purebred and crossbred, native and continental breeds.  A specific class will also be held for the best North of England Mule lamb. Again, the champion will be sold at the festival.

The third new section, has been introduced due to increased interest, and is for British White cattle.  Classes will be available for bulls and heifers in the pedigree calf show.

William Haire, show director is also delighted to confirm the addition of Martin Irvine to the judging team.  Martin, known to many for his award winning Braehead Limousin herd, and star of the BBC Two series, “This Farming Life”, will judge the Young Stockperson of the Year Award.

The young stockperson class has seen a tremendous amount of interest this year, and aims to recognise up and coming talent in the cattle showing industry. Applicants qualify for entry into this class throughout the year at local and regional shows, and require a high standard of both skill and knowledge.

The College Challenge will also make a return this year and will see teams from agricultural colleges around the UK compete for this prestigious title. This will also be judged by Martin Irvine, together with NFU livestock board chairman, Charles Sercombe.  The College Challenge is predominately a stock judging competition, but also includes feed raw material identification and silage sample analysis.  This class proved incredibly popular in 2015.

“As promised, the Smithfield Festival continues to listen to the industry and change the format for new demands,” says William Haire, festival show director. “The new classes reflect the changing face of the industry.

“The growing support for the young stockperson award and the college competition also highlight the immense talent and enthusiasm we have coming into the industry from colleges around the UK. It gives me great pleasure to work with such professional and knowledgeable individuals and I’m looking forward to yet another incredible Smithfield Festival,” concludes William.

Full details of all classes can be found at



Notes to editors

  • Market ready beef pair class – animals must not have been shown the previous day in commercial classes and must have had three movements or less on the day of the show
  • The North of England Mule lamb class will be held under NEMSA rules.

For more information please contact or telephone 01733 234 451

Issued by: Julie Scanlon, Pinstone Communications, e-mail:, t: 07580 378080

Upcoming Events

all-day Bedfordshire Young Farmers Rally @ Scald End Farm
Bedfordshire Young Farmers Rally @ Scald End Farm
May 19 all-day
The East of England Agricultural Society is proud to sponsor the Bedfordshire Young Farmers Rally, hosted by Bedford & District YFC. For more information about Bedford Young Farmers, click here
9:00 am Northamptonshire Young Farmers R... @ Ashby Furze Farm
Northamptonshire Young Farmers R... @ Ashby Furze Farm
May 26 @ 9:00 am
The East of England Agricultural Society is proud to sponsor the Northamptonshire Young Farmers Rally, hosted by Grendon YFC. For more information about Northampton Young Farmers, click here