Suffolk Show Countdown: Farm Discovery Zone which caught the eye of Prince Harry set to showcase modern career opportunities within agricultural industry

ADie the cow before her dramatic transformation.

ADie the cow before her dramatic transformation. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Show organisers will be hoping to open visitors’ eyes to the many facets of farming at an area of next week’s event devoted to the sector.

ADie the CLAAS cow reveals secrets of anaerobic digestion.

ADie the CLAAS cow reveals secrets of anaerobic digestion. - Credit: Archant

The Farm Discovery Zone, sponsored by animal feed firm ForFarmers, which has its UK base at Ipswich, celebrated a successful inaugural year last year which saw families having a go at farming activities. It also caught the attention of visiting Royal HRH Prince Harry who helped make a pizza.

Show director and Drinkstone farmer Bill Baker stressed that agriculture is very much a modern career choice, and was not just about sitting on tractors, but embracing some world-class developing technologies, such as drones, precision drilling and biosciences, as well as food development, marketing and green energies and the industry’s many allied industries.

Visitors will be able to see and hear chicks noisily pecking their way out of their shells in a hatchery, and hold a new born duckling, watch calves feeding, see an original steam tractor which replaced the Suffolk Punch horse, discover why rare breeds are so important, as well as sit in the cab of the latest agricultural machinery and have a family cook-up, in a move designed to link how the food on our tables is grown in the field.

Agricultural machinery manufacturer CLAAS, which has its UK base at Bury St Edmunds, will be demonstrating Adie, a life-size custom-made cow with its see-through stomach, which will demonstrate how an anaerobic digester works.


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Suffolk Young Farmers will host digger games and make a bale sculpture, and will have a range of activities to keep everyone amused including a sugar beet harvester cage filled with balloons, and a milk-tache selfie sofa. The sofa is made from straw bales and milk supplied for people to create the best milk moustache – all done to create awareness around the difficulties and challenges facing the dairy industry in the UK.

The land colleges are also on hand to talk apprenticeships, courses and career opportunities, many on our doorstep.

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East Green Energy will have scientists running workshops and science programmes around the concept of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and biomass as they demonstrate how renewable energy works.

Ingenious free-standing model farmyards made by the county’s primary schools from recyclable materials themed around ‘agriculture – supplying your energy’ will be on display, and the finals of the Suffolk Farming School of The Year initiative take place in the zone on Thursday. Three finalists, including last year’s winners Saxmundham Primary School, join Bawdsey Primary and the Ashley School Academy Trust will be vying for first place.

A Century of Tractor Design and Development compiled by Bill Kemball features major design innovations that have shaped today’s modern tractors from 1915 -2015. At least 15 tractors are expected, among them the Suffolk Punch, a rare Garrett steam tractor built in Leiston by the former Richard Garrett & Sons Agricultural Engineering Works, which produced thousands of steam engines, vehicles and agricultural machines between 1840s to the 1930s exported around the world.

Built in 1917 as a “lightweight” tractor for ploughing and weighing in at seven tonnes, it was so named as it was doing the same job – pulling the plough – as the Suffolk Punch heavy horses had done.

It was taken out of use as it was difficult to compete with smaller, cheaper lighter petrol and paraffin fuelled tractors which took over from the steam versions. The last remaining tractor of its type, it is housed at the Leiston Long Show Museum, where it was built almost a century ago.

Also in the area is a goat mountain and a small showing ring featuring short demonstrations daily by Easton Farm Park and breeds on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) Watchlist including an Exmoor Pony, Devon Closewool Sheep- a hardy domestic breed raised primarlity for its meat - Oxford Sandy and Black sow with piglets –often referred to as the “Plum Pudding” due to its colouring - golden Guernsey Cows and Bagot goats.

The Suffolk Show takes place on May 27 and 28 at Trinity Park, Ipswich. For the latest news and to buy discounted tickets, visit www.suffolkshow.co.uk.For news, photos and live coverage from the showground next week, see our Suffolk Show page here

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