The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has played a leading role in the development of agriculture and the rural economy in Wales for over a century, since its formation in 1904.
Today our work includes providing support for business, social welfare and education in rural communities, and the organisation and staging of our ever-popular society events; the Smallholding and Countryside Festival, the Royal Welsh Show and the Winter Fair.
As the first day of the Royal Welsh Winter Fair draws to a close, the Society has greatly enjoyed welcoming visitors and exhibitors back to the Showground in Llanelwedd for a wonderful start to the event.
This year’s Winter Fair was officially opened by Chairman of the Council, Mr David Lewis DL FRICS FLAA FRAgS in the Royal Welsh Exhibition Hall. Mr Lewis steps down as the Chair of Council after many years of exceptional service, which has included Chair of Board and President in Carmarthenshire’s Feature Year.
The opening was followed by the presentations of awards.
The John Gittins Memorial Award 2021, one of the most prestigious prizes in Welsh agriculture, was awarded to Mr Terry Bayliss for outstanding contribution to the Welsh Sheep Industry.
The RWAS Oxford Farming Conference Bursary 2022 went to Miss Katies Davies, previous Wales TFC Chairman. The bursary enables the chosen young person to attend the Oxford Farming Conference, one of the most important events in the agricultural industry.
The Nuffield Farming Scholarship 2022 was awarded to Ms Miranda Timmerman, a veterinary surgeon from Abergavenny who wants to investigate sustainable methods of reducing anthelmintic resistance, which is becoming an increasing problem in sheep flocks throughout the UK.
The CARAS Fellowship Award was presented to the family of the late Mr Richard Tudor.
During his opening speech, Mr Lewis said; “Let us be encouraged by the tremendous and truly outstanding quality of produce, both here in the showrings an in the Exhibition Halls. We are very proud of it. Let it not be forgotten that Welsh Agriculture is the backbone – the spine of our communities, and we all have a responsibility to support and broadcast this positive message far and wide.”
Livestock competitors were eager to return into the Royal Welsh show rings once again this morning, with a tremendous show of livestock from across the UK showcased. A full list of Championship results will be circulated after the event.
The Society are ever grateful towards its support from the hundreds of tradestands that are present over the two days, including a fine display of Welsh produce in the renowned Food Hall. With unique gifts, the very best of Welsh produce and the most up to date agricultural equipment, there is something for everyone on display and shoppers have been continuing to support small and local business to secure a fruitful future for the rural economies throughout Wales.
Finally, we saw the return of the great firework display this evening, which was as always, a spectacular event and the perfect way to end the first day of the Winter Fair.
Chief Executive Steve Hughson said, “After 18 months of uncertainty, it is fantastic to hold the Winter Fair on our showground again. Our events bring people together to celebrate the very best of Wales and it has been truly inspirational to see people’s happy faces, fantastic livestock, great Welsh produce and a wide range of displays and trade stands all creating one of our favourite events. For us and many others, Christmas starts here.”
The Society can’t wait to open the gates again tomorrow morning at 8am for another day packed full of competitions, Welsh produce and Christmas shopping. For those visiting us on the Showground tomorrow please remember your COVID Pass and please follow our safety measures.