THERE’S nothing worse than trapsing around an agricultural show in the rain – but fortunately this was definitely not the case at Devon County Show this year.

The sun shone, visitors enjoyed their ice creams and the livestock were pleased to be outside in the glorious weather.

My day consisted of a visit to the Devon Young Farmers Club tent to listen to their agri-debate about ‘green’ farming – and they were lucky enough to have Farming Minister Mark Spencer join for a bit.

He paid tribute to Lord Clinton after his passing, noting that he was a huge influence in Devon and that he was a ‘very nice man’. Mr Spencer commented on his passion for agriculture, the countryside and the next generation of farmers.

He said: “There is very little point taking land out of beef production to plant trees if we’re just going to buy beef from Brazil. So we’ve got to the balance right and make sure we are more productive here in the UK, and make more from less and lower our footprint.

“If there ever was a moment that we need the brightest and the best young people to come into our sector to solve those problems, it is right now.”

The topic of the Devon YFC debate was: 'The Green Gamble/Will having greener schemes impact food prices?'

The panel was chaired by David Furdson, and speakers included Claire Quick, Ben May, Andy Grey and Richard Stanbury.

In their opening remarks, the speakers commented on environmental schemes and whether these will have an impact on food production. Ben said that we must embrace environmental schemes, but also make sure that prime agricultural land is not used to plant wildflower meadows - instead of grow food.

I then spoke with NFU Livestock Board Chair David Barton, who shared his views on the future of farming. To read the interview, click here.

My early afternoon was spent wondering around the various rings and arenas, watching dog shows, showjumping, livestock competitions and more. I took a visit to The Sheep Show – where I learnt all about the different breeds of sheep, and spent a while watching yarn being spun in the Crafts and Horticulture Pavilion.

I finished my day off watching the livestock parade in the main ring - who knew there were so many different breeds of cattle and sheep?!

The Devon County Show is a wonderful day out, but in all honesty, what I love most is how it opens up the world of farming and makes it easily accessible to those who might not really know where their food comes from and the work that goes into putting food on our tables every day.

I visited the stand set up by Farmwise Devon who show children where our food comes from and put on activities to show how products like milk and butter are made. This is a great initiative and we need more things like this – not even just for children – to educate people about where our food comes from, encourage them to buy local, and really help them to understand the work farmers do to put food on our tables everyday.

So take the time to visit these agricultural shows, take part in the competitions, enjoy the local food, and help to show people what farming is really about.