30 June 2000

Director smiles through gloom

SHOW director Christopher Hall is looking forward to a great, Great Yorkshire Show despite all the problems besetting the farming industry.

Cattle entries stand at 859, a slight increase on last year and sheep entries are well up at 1468, says Mr Hall. Not surprisingly, given problems in the pig sector, pig entries have dipped by 10% on last year to stand at 223. But numbers in the goat class are up significantly from 258 to 323; the second highest entry ever.

Mr Hall is also upbeat about the prospects for the Yorkshire Agricultural Society in general. "Like farming, all agricultural societies have their ups and downs and, currently, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society is definitely on the up. Our membership is healthy and we have good year-round income from our facilities such as the Pavilions at Harrogate. Healthy finances enable us to invest in our core agricultural activities at the show and to offer even more support to farming in the north east.

"We finance Nuffield Scholars from within our region and support the Farming Under Stress Initiative," says Mr Hall. "The society also spends on education among all age groups from primary schools to universities and funds research projects."

Further evidence of the Societys long-term commitment to agriculture is the decision to build a new £2.25m food hall on the showground. Construction will start immediately after this years show with completion due next spring; well in time for The Great Yorkshire Show vintage 2001.

Show director Christopher Hall is looking forward to a great, Great Yorkshire Show.