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 a four year old boy, showing Dairy Shorthorn cattle at Llanelwedd with my father, Leslie V B Thomas and grandfather, John B Thomas, never did I dream of one day being afforded the honour and privilege by the Pembrokeshire agricultural community of being elected their President of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society in 2019.
Having had the opportunity to judge at the four Royal Shows of the United Kingdom has been a great privilege but being elected President of the best show of all is the greatest honour.
We have been overwhelmed and feel very blessed with the tremendous support received in Pembrokeshire from the five regional committees, the Young Members and the Ladies Committee. Together with Pembrokeshire County Council, numerous societies and local businesses, plus tireless individuals, we have created a new community of friendship with entertainment and fun for all.
Our Pembrokeshire appeal fund will be used to start on planning and construction of a new Welsh Exhibition Centre, to be a flexible facility offering a variety of options to all industries of Wales and further afield. This building will also provide new offices for our hard-working staff at Llanelwedd. I would like to sincerely thank everyone involved for the support we have had during our feature county year.
What an incredible honour and privilege it is to be your Lady Ambassador for 2019 and to work alongside a fantastic team in our ever-evolving society.
Through my various roles I’ve been fortunate to experience the society and its key events from a variety of perspectives. As a visitor and member, a trader running stands in the food hall, a steward, YFC competitor, sponsor and media partner working with S4C.
Our Pembrokeshire RWAS Feature County 2019 campaign has kicked off with incredible support which has brought the whole county and generations together through ‘FUN-raising’. Our 2019 merchandise, marketing and social media coverage have taken off, showcasing the best of #PembsRWAS2019.
In May 2019, alongside an enthusiastic team, we launched a schools engagement #CowsOnTour Roadshow, visiting a different primary school in a different county for five consecutive days across Wales, finishing off at the 2019 Smallholding and Countryside Festival. Our purpose is to tell the farming story, raise awareness of the RWAS, encourage farmers to tell their story and raise funds for farming charities. There has never been a more crucial time to tell the farming story and our roadshow is an opportunity for the whole industry to get involved.
Emily keeps us up-to-date with all the feature county activities in her regular blog.