Top left: Elmarie Prinsloo (Bloem Show Chief Executive Officer). Top right: Pieter van Wyk (Agri-Expo President), Corné Nel, Elana Vorster and Dieter Schutte of BKB, Mpho Mokwena and Riaan van der Walt of Shell, and Johan Ehlers (Agri-Expo Chief Executive Officer) during Agri-Expo’s annual meeting of member shows. Bottom left: Delegates from agricultural shows in the Western and Northern Cape and other agricultural role-players gathered in Simondium for Agri-Expo’s annual meeting of member shows. Bottom right: Sarah Moreland (Hertfordshire Show Executive Director)
Dynamic women in the show industry formed the backbone of Agri-Expo’s Member Shows’ Congress this year. This annual event is considered an important contribution to the survival of rural agricultural shows.
About 50 delegates from 15 shows in the Western and Northern Cape gathered on Friday 10 June 2022 at Allée Bleue in Simondium for this meeting of agricultural shows that are members of the Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society. The aim of the event is to create a platform to exchange ideas, stimulate new thinking patterns, discuss trends in agriculture and coordinate show dates. This year’s theme was Cooperation, with several local role-players as well as an international show that shared strategies with each other.
COLLABORATION IS KEY – FROM ENGLAND TO BLOEMFONTEIN, RIVERSDAL AND WILLISTON
Sarah Moreland, Executive Director of the Hertfordshire Agricultural Society, joined live from England to speak about the Hertfordshire County Show, which has been running since 1886. She emphasised the vital financial support received from the government during lockdown to ensure the show’s continued existence, as well as the show’s role in uplifting local communities. “Shows are not sustainable on their own,” Moreland said, referring to how the Society uses its grounds for fundraising events such as outdoor movies and rentals.
Bloem Show, which is 140 years old next year, was held this year for the first time since 2019. According to the Chief Executive Officer, Elmarie Prinsloo, who joined live from Bloemfontein, the show has an economic value of R50 million for Bloemfontein and Mangaung and about 1150 temporary jobs are created each year. Prinsloo highlighted the value of collaboration within as well as outside the industry, such as Bloem Show’s recent collaboration with Free State Rugby, as well as the establishment of a biosecurity protocol in cooperation with other major shows.
This year, Williston Show hosted their biggest show in many years, as confirmed by their Secretary Klara Steenkamp. The impact of the show was enormous, with guest houses fully booked months in advance and the entire community teaming up to accommodate visitors. AJ van Wyk from Riversdal Show emphasised that there must be something for every member of the community at the show. Teamwork and planning were highlighted by Ann Dalton, Events Manager of Agri-Expo, who shared her experience of three decades in the show industry.
According to Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, more than 700 years of experience are locked up among the shows represented by the speakers at this year’s congress. Ehlers thanked the shows for their commitment to bringing people together, in agriculture and in communities. “The success of shows must not only be measured as numbers through the show gate, but also as the investment in communities,” said Ehlers. “Thank you to all the partners in the industry who make this possible, especially BKB and Shell who support this year’s members’ congress as sponsors.”
The Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society was founded in 1831 and is the oldest agricultural society in South Africa. Agri-Expo was established as its marketing name in 1996. The organisation promotes the image of agriculture through marketing initiatives and events. For more information, visit www.agriexpo.co.za, follow Agri-Expo on social media, or contact Agri-Expo on 021 975 4440 or email@example.com.
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