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Suffolk Agricultural Association: Meet senior Suffolk Show steward Bruce Kerr

11:00 16 February 2014

Asparagus farmer Bruce Kerr in his field.

Asparagus farmer Bruce Kerr in his field.

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The next in our series of meeting senior stewards of the Suffolk Show is Monewden farmer Bruce Kerr who has recently been appointed senior steward of the new Farm Discovery Zone, formerly Farminganglia.

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Bruce runs an arable farm growing cereals, potatoes, asparagus and sugar beet, oilseed rape and peas for freezing as well as a potato storage and marketing business in Lincolnshire and is also a board member of the Potato Council of Great Britain.

How long and how have you been involved with the Suffolk Show?

Ever since I can remember. I started stewarding at the old Nacton entrance after I left agricultural college more than 20 years ago, then in the cattle section and what was Farminanglia. In 2003 I was fortunate to be assistant show director to John Wall which gave me an incredible insight into how the many different areas of the show all come together.

What is the best part/has there been a highlight over the years?

Seeing so many volunteers work together with the common aim of putting on the best show possible with the minimum of fuss. Stewards manning the gates before 6am and others in the judging rings as the light begins to fade in the evening all give a great sense of teamwork and pride that everybody plays their part in the show. The highlight for me was my eldest daughter Cate presenting a bouquet to HRH Princess Royal, although she was rather overcome by the occasion and dropped 
the flowers at the feet of Princess Anne, who very gracefully asked her ‘are those for me’?

Give us a fact about the Show that you don’t think people would know.

There were no flushing toilets at the first shows, so in a relatively short period of time we have come a long way with lots of permanent toilet facilities!

4,000 asparagus spears are consumed by judges and stewards during the show.

Why should businesses not involved in the agricultural community be involved as tradestands/through sponsorship?

It is Suffolk’s biggest event in terms of footfall, almost treble that of the International Guineas Festival at Newmarket. We offer a completely unique platform for businesses to interact with their existing or develop new customers.

Who is the person you would most like to attract to the show and why?

Anybody with an open mind, there is so much to see and do. You can’t be in a hurry, so be patient. It is the icing on the cake if we are blessed with a visit from a member of the Royal family.

Why do you think people should attend the Suffolk Show?

At £20 for a whole day’s entertainment and education, it is the best value for money around for a day out for all the family. There is so much food and drink to see and taste, many farmers willing to answer questions about the animals they rear and the crops they grow.

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