Jake Humphrey insists young people are future of Royal Norfolk Show as he retires as its president

Jake Humphrey and Greg Smith at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association AGM. Photo: Bill Smith Jake Humphrey and Greg Smith at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association AGM. Photo: Bill Smith

Friday, April 25, 2014
6:30 AM

TV star Jake Humphrey believes young people are the key to a bright future for the Royal Norfolk Show.

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George Freeman MP at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association AGM. Photo: Bill SmithGeorge Freeman MP at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association AGM. Photo: Bill Smith

Speaking at his final public appearance as president of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA), he admitted it was a difficult time for county shows everywhere.

Organisers had hoped for 90,000 people to attend last year’s spectacular at the Norfolk Showground, but could not attract more than 83,688 - despite Mr Humphrey Tweeting to his 750,000 followers.

But he said there was a growing demand for people to learn where their food has come from, and he was heartened by the enthusiasm he had seen at the show.

“The dedication of the teenagers bringing their cattle here was great,” he said. “You read so many reports about teenagers on street corners and think they may have grown out of making their cattle look incredible.

Sir Nicholas Bacon at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association AGM. Photo: Bill SmithSir Nicholas Bacon at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association AGM. Photo: Bill Smith

“But they make sure their pride and joy is ready for the Royal Norfolk Show.

“I think it’s really important they remain your focus as they’re your future.”

He said building on the success of the Spring Fling, an educational event for youngsters, was also crucial.

And as members gave a vote of thanks for retiring Mr Humphrey, he described becoming president as his “proudest moment” as a Norfolk boy.

Prince Edward was elected as his successor at yesterday’s meeting, at St Walstan’s Hall.

Sir Nicholas Bacon, chairman of the RNAA, said the Earl of Wessex planned to attend both days of the show.

Robert Carter, chairman of building firm RG Carter Group, was elected as the first ever deputy president and president-elect for 2015.

Sir Nicholas said both men could help the show to engage young people, with Prince Edward’s involvement in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and Mr Carter’s work with the Prince’s Trust.

The winner of the Sir Timothy Colman prize for outstanding contribution to agriculture was announced as Poul Hoveson.

Mr Hoveson, director of farming at the Holkham Estate, will be presented with the honour at this year’s Royal Norfolk Show.

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