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New president for the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society

The Lincolnshire Agricultural Society (LAS), best known as the organisers of the annual Lincolnshire Show, have appointed Richard Needham as their new president.

LAS, which was formed in 1869, supports good causes in agriculture and education in the county and its presidents bring new interests and influences to the society and show annually.

Following in the footsteps of other distinguished presidents, such as HRH Princess Anne and Nigel Brown, a past High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, Mr Needham steps into the role in the Lincolnshire Show’s 130th year.

Richard Needham was a member of the Lincolnshire Show Executive Committee for 20 years and worked as an LAS steward before being made Honorary Director – a position he held for six years.

The Lincolnite spoke with Mr Needham about his new role. He said: “Having been very involved with the society for many years, It is a great honour to be invited to be the president of the LAS, which hosts one of the few remaining truly agricultural shows left in the country.

“To be president at this time in the society’s history is really exciting as we enter the new chapter with all the development going on at the showground.

“My previous experience with the society goes back to 1957 when I first went to the show, and since then I have exhibited livestock and then I was invited on to council.”

“Over the years, the show has seen a reduction in the number of farmers and farm workers, but a huge growth in public interest in where their food comes from, hence the enormous interest in the food court.

“I have seen tremendous interest, from both the public and farmers, in renewables. We have a large number of stands at the show related to that. Generally there is a greater public interest in what the countryside is all about and how it works.

Ricbard Needham, President of the LAS for 2014, with Jane Southall, Director of the Lincolnshire Showground. Photo: LS
Ricbard Needham, President of the LAS for 2014, with Jane Southall, Director of the Lincolnshire Showground. Photo: LS

“The most potentially interesting development is the proposed establishment of a brand new £13 million Agricultural College on the Showground.

“Bishop Burton have secured grant funding and subject to getting the necessary planning consent will be developing their 6 acres site down Tillbridge Lane side early in 2014.

“Also, there is a planning application in at West Lindsey District Council for 18 highly sustainable houses that the society hopes to develop in partnership with Gusto Homes.”