THE youngest ever show organiser in the country has taken up the reins of this year's Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show.

James Cox, 23, joined in autumn 2019 from The Royal Bath and West of England Society, after five successful years having been trade stand manager along with sponsorship and marketing officer.

He was also sponsorship and marketing officer for The Dairy Show and Grassland UK, and assisted in the running of the Association for UK Shows.

James’s roots are from Dorset, and he was born and raised on his family farm near Dorchester. He has always had an interest in agriculture and country shows, and his career began supporting Dorset County Show at aged just 13.

James will be stealing the title of the UK’s youngest show organiser from his neighbour, Dorset County Show secretary Will Hyde, who took the helm at 28.

James said: “I am excited for my first show as organiser but also apprehensive.

"We have introduced new branding, website, attractions, ticket prices and business opportunities, but our values remain the same, at the absolute core is agriculture and the Great British Countryside.

"The aim is to showcase everything great about our region and what comes from it, putting the consumer in contact with the producer while the farmers meet their buyers, suppliers and machinery dealers.

"It all feels like it is beginning to come together, I am really keen to see what the next few months bring.”

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