A look back at the CLA East show season

CLA Communications Manager Lee Murphy reflects on some of the highlights of the summer agricultural shows
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The CLA East team was delighted to welcome around 1500 members to breakfast, lunch and other social occasions during its agricultural show season hospitality this summer.

In May, the CLA’s flagship breakfast event on the first day of the Suffolk Show provided a platform for CLA Deputy President Gavin Lane to update members on the organisations policy work.

With a general election called the week before the show, conversations were fuelled by speculation as to what may happen when voters headed to the polls in July. Two sold-out lunch events across the show ensured members were fully fuelled for their time on the showground.

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The CLA marquee at the Suffolk Show

At Cereals, the leading technical event for the arable industry, CLA President Victoria Vyvyan welcomed guests to a breakfast hosted in the Savills marquee. The event took place at Newnham Farm in Hertfordshire this year and moves on to Roy Ward Farms at Leadenham in Lincolnshire in 2025.

Visitors to the Lincolnshire Show in June enjoyed good weather and great views of the Main Ring from the CLA marquee.

An opening address from CLA President Gavin Lane at breakfast on the first day updated members on the latest political developments whilst a Worshipful Company of Farmers drinks reception later in the day provided an opportunity to catch up with colleagues old and new.

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CLA Deputy President Gavin Lane welcomes guests at the Lincolnshire Show

The following week, one of the hottest tickets in town was for the CLA lunch at the Royal Norfolk Show.

This lunch, which always sells out quickly, was fully booked weeks before the show. The marquee provided perfect shelter from the weather across the two days – which unusually for the 2024 summer so far – was hot sunshine rather than rain.

At the same time as the Royal Norfolk Show, CLA colleagues also welcomed visitors to Groundswell, where breakfast was served to guests on the CLA stand on the second day. There will be no diary clash next year for these events, with Groundswell moving to the following week in 2025 (July 2 & 3).

All the shows presented an opportunity for us to meet with prospective parliamentary candidates who were vying for votes in the run up to the election. Many have now become MPs and the CLA will be continuing the dialogue with politicians to ensure the rural voice is heard within the new government.

The events also raised the profile of rural issues with the CLA undertaking a number of media interviews.

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Steffan Aquarone (now North Norfolk MP) was among the political figures to meet with the CLA during the show season
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BBC presenter Sean Dunderdale (left) and Steve Orchard (right) of the Farming Programme spent time with the CLA at the Lincolnshire Show

The agricultural shows are a highlight in the CLA calendar and we would like to thank all the sponsors for their support at these events.

Our thanks also to those behind the scenes, from the catering staff to the team that erected our marquees, for their efforts in helping to make our shows a success. It would not be possible for these events to go ahead without them.

The show season may have now concluded for the year in the East, but there are still plenty of CLA events for members to look forward to.

Our plans for the autumn include another series of seminars in the region on the agricultural transition, a diversification seminar, a visit to the stadium of a Premiership Rugby team, a return visit to a zero-carbon performing home, and a CLA Next Generation simulated game shoot.

Keep an eye out for email invitations from us or visit the events page of our website which is regularly updated.