3 July 1998

FAMILY SHOW IN FAMILY TRADITION

A commitment to reflect

practical farming interests

and to develop the

educational aspects of the

show are the guiding

principles of its president

Nigel Forbes Adam

PRESIDENT of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Nigel Forbes Adam is continuing a long line of tradition. He is the fourth generation of his family to be appointed president and is determined to make this years event better than ever.

An important ingredient in his recipe for success is the need to retain the shows strong agricultural bias, and its economic viability. Persuading the public to pass through the turnstiles in sufficient numbers is the challenge facing the organisers. A strong effort has been made to increase the educational side of the show. That will help the public to a much better understanding of modern farming and the contribution our industry makes not only to food production but to country life in general, he says.

Mr Forbes Adam, drawing on his deep roots in Yorkshires rural life, is well placed to take on the role of president. His family owns the 2833ha (7,000 acre) Escrick Park Estate, near York. And Mr Forbes Adam maintains a keen interest in conservation.

Escrick Park estate consists of 809ha (2000 acres) of in hand farm land with 283 ha (700 acres) of woodland. The remainder of the estate is let to tenant farmers. Although day-to-day control of the estate now rests with son Charlie, Nigel retains an interest in conservation. He applauds the conservation efforts made by estate tenants covering the planting of new hedges and hedgerow trees, and the renovation of ponds.

The past 30 years have seen the estate swing from mixed farming to nearly all arable production. Mr Forbes Adam is realistic about the financial pressures facing all sectors of the agricultural industry. Particularly vulnerable will be the smaller 60ha (150 acre) estate farms, he believes. Farms will need to be amalgamated with other holdings as they become available, Mr Forbes Adam reluctantly concedes.

On a brighter note, he welcomes the work his son has undertaken, with the help of EU funding, to convert barns and redundant farm buildings into business premises and workshops. Such initiatives breathe new life and potentially much needed new jobs into the countryside, he says. &#42

Nigel Forbes Adam of Skipwith Hall, York is the fourth member of his family to become president of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.