Food for thought at the big country showcase

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The best of Yorkshire farming wares will be proudly on display at the Countryside Live event, which kicks off in two weeks’ time.

Organisers of the autumnal farming showcase say that this year’s event will focus on Yorkshire’s superb range of local food, alongside the usual cattle, sheep and horse classes.

The food exhibitions will this year take place in the main hall, with the marquee that usually houses them instead being used to host the sheep classes. The trade stalls will remain in place.

Countryside Live is now firmly established as one of the country’s leading agricultural events, with last year’s event attracting 10,221 visitors, something organisers hope to expand upon this year.

“We’re getting well towards it now,” honorary show director Bill Cowling told the Yorkshire Post.

“Nearly all the entries are closed, there are still one or two things to be sorted out with the horses. Entries are up which is good.

“They are only up slightly with the beef cattle, of course, because we are restricted in terms of the number of stalls we have got.

“However we do have a waiting list in operation.”

The cattle classes will be of particular interest this year in the respect that Phil and Sharon Sellers, who have won the supreme beef title for the past three years in succession, will act as judges instead of exhibitors.

Mr Sellers will judge the supreme beef classes while his wife will concentrate on the young handlers.

“They clearly know the job well, “ said Mr Cowling. “It will definitely be interesting to see.”

Another new attraction is the Diggerland Experience and for the first time the Festival of British Fruit will be held, showcasing around 25 different varieties of apples and pears.

Around the showground there are archery events, The Sheep Show, dog agility demonstrations, sheepdog displays with the Mellins of TV’s The Dales programme and Ben Potter will again bring his birds of prey.

Mr Cowling said: “We will have a strong emphasis on local and regional food – that is going to be a change this year. There will be less shopping stalls and more food stalls.

“This is really a shop window for us as farmers to show the public, our customers, what it is we do.

“There will also be more for the family to do this year. The sheep show this year is going to be great for us.”

Another new addition will be a sausage tasting event with visitors able to judge the quality of the food. This will replace the cookery theatre which has been in operation for the past few years.

Elsewhere, the horse classes will take place with equestrian experts Graham and Tina Fletcher again searching for a rising young show jumping star and the Olympia qualifying classes for Ridden Mountain and Moorland are sure to draw the crowds.

Countryside Live takes place at Harrogate’s Great Yorkshire Showground on October 21 and 22.

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Go for a rural career

The organisers of Countryside Live and the Great Yorkshire Show will this week hold its popular Countryside Careers Day to help attract youngsters into farming and rural-based professions.

Now in its fourth year, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society is organising the event and aiming it at secondary school students from across Yorkshire.

It takes place on Tuesday, October 11 at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate. Contact Di Kirkman, education co-ordinator, on for further information.