It's a top farming show!
The Devon County Show is still, first and foremost, an agricultural show. Yes, there’s a lot more to it than just farming these days. It acts now as a showcase and market place for the whole rural economy, with local food and drink a particular priority. But farmers and their families still come to the Show in their thousands, to show off their livestock, discover and invest in the very latest in farm machinery and equipment, discuss the political and technical issues of the day and just to have a thoroughly good time meeting friends and colleagues, old and new. They, and their livestock, give the event a very special atmosphere, that makes it so much more than just a gigantic country fair.
Despite the rise of specialist events and the power of the internet, there has even been an increase in the number of agricultural trade stands and other farming content in recent years, with the Devon-based co-operative Mole Valley Farmers leading the way. An entire section of the showground is now given over to farm machinery. And as the first major show of the summer, the Show also offers the perfect platform for senior farming politicians from the NFU, the CLA and Government to explain what they are up to - and for Devon’s farmers - and our Young Farmers, who have a particularly strong presence - to take them to task!
We are delighted that two of the most prestigious awards in the world of British cattle breeding will be contested at the 2018 Show. The Burke Trophies - one for dairy cattle, the other for the beef breeds - were staged for many years at the Royal Show at Stoneleigh. But when that show folded in 2009, its organisers, the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE), decided that the Burke trophies should live on, being staged at a different county or regional show each year.
The Burke Trophies - named after the well-known farming family which inaugurated them at the Royal Show in 1951 - are unusual in that they are contested by breeds, rather than by individual exhibitors. What happens is that each breed society will select the best pair of animals from those entered at the show to represent it in a judge-off against all the other breeds. For a farmer who breeds pedigree cattle, there is no greater accolade than having one of his or her animals chosen as the very best that a particular breed has to offer.
The Show combines the county’s agricultural heritage with a focus on the future to create an event which appeals to every strand of the Devon community.
Cattle hall opening times:
Thursday - the dairy cattle section will be open to the public all day. The beef section will be open at 1 pm or earlier if possible
Friday - opening times will be from midday until 2 pm then judging of the Burke Trophy Pairs will take place in the Livestock Arena followed by the ‘finale’ in the Main Arena, followed by the Grand Parade; the Hall will re-open at 5 pm.
Saturday - 9 am to 2.30 pm.
* Note: these times are correct at time of publication but are subject to change*
We are grateful for the support of our sponsors. Our main sponsor for 2018 is Mole Valley Farmers:
Agricultural sponsors include: