Shows launch farming platform

DORSET’s two agricultural shows, Dorset County Show and Gillingham & Shaftsbury Show, have got together for the first time to bring British farming to the public’s homes via a new virtual content platform – Farming @ Home.

In a year when the public can’t go to the two shows , because the one-day Gillingham and Shaftesbury in August, and Dorset’s two-day show in early September, have both been cancelled, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the two young show secretaries have set out to bring farming into people’s homes.

Farming @ Home is intended to promote agriculture and educate the nation. The show organisers are working together to produce and share a wide range of authentic, topical content across social media channels.

The new platform will provide an in-depth, real-life insight into the lives of Dorset farmers from all walks of life – from mainstream farming enterprises including dairy, sheep, pig and arable, to new and unique farm enterprises, showcasing the diversity of British agriculture.

Spanning nearly 200 years of history, both shows are well-established annual fixtures in the county calendar for both the agricultural and local community, between them typically attracting around 80,000 visitors each year.

The Farming @ Home platform, which goes live from 13th July, will be free to access, with the first piece in the series exploring dairy farming.

Dorset County Show chairman Rebecca Hill says: “Our Dorset agricultural shows are critical for educating the public about the farming industry, as well as promoting our county’s wealth of high-quality food and craft producers. While the Covid-19 pandemic has sadly meant neither show can take place this year, our nation’s farmers have continued working incredibly hard to keep up with demand – so we wanted to find an alternative way to support them and promote excellence in agriculture, the countryside and rural life.

“Farming @ Hom is designed to reach the public in an easily accessible format, providing new and engaging content to help give a deeper understanding of the workings of our agricultural industry, as well as Dorset’s artisan producers. We’re delighted to be combining forces with the Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show to drive this forwards and showcase all the incredible things our county has to offer.”
James Cox says: “Now more than ever, it’s important that we all come together to support one another during these uncertain times. Our county is renowned for its rich agricultural heritage and diversity, so Farming @ Home is set to celebrate this and raise awareness about agriculture on a wider scale – tapping into the ever-growing popularity of social media and production of shareable content.”

Farming @ Home will be hosted on the two shows’ social channels, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Next year’s Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show will be  on Wednesday 18th August 2021, and Dorset County Show will be on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September.

Pictured: James Cox, of Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show, left and Will Hyde of Dorset County Show.