Border Union Agricultural Society (BUAS) has launched the countdown to its bicentenary celebrations in 2013 with the announcement that the Countess of Wessex has agreed to be the patron for the year.
The year will include a variety of celebrations showcasing the role of the society in the past, present and future of agriculture and rural affairs in the Borders and north Northumberland, plans for which are already well under way.
The 2013 celebrations, for which The Southern Reporter is media sponsor, will culminate in the 200th Border Union Show at Springwood Park, Kelso, on July 26 and 27, 2013.
In addition to the show’s traditional competitions, activities and displays, the bicentenary event will include a food fair featuring some top UK chefs including Albert Roux and Andrew Fairlie, a celebration of the region’s wool heritage and a showcase of old and new methods of crop production.
The UK’s indigenous breeds will be acknowledged in a special cattle show involving as many breeds as possible and an exhibition will showcase the importance of the major rivers of the Borders.
Education will be a key component of the celebrations with schools and further education colleges encouraged to participate. Bursaries will be set up for young people working in the local rural economies.
Gareth Baird, chairman of the BUAS bicentenary committee said: “We are delighted that HRH the Countess of Wessex has agreed to be our bicenternary patron. We want to make the bicentenary a true Borders-wide occasion involving people from right across the region and paying fitting tribute to our area’s agricultural heritage.”
The BUAS was formed in Kelso on January 22, 1813, when local dignitaries and farming lairds met at the town’s Cross Keys Hotel. It had several aims: to encourage excellence in stock breeding; to promote discoveries in arable farming and to encourage the development of improved agricultural implements.
The society has more than 1,000 members from rural and urban backgrounds and has its home at Springwood Park, a 46-acre parkland next to the rivers Tweed and Teviot which it bought in 1953 and which is now home to more than 100 events a year including the Championship Dog Show and the Kelso Ram Sales.
For more information on the Border Union Agricultural Society, including links to the special Bicentenary Facebook page (BUAS 200), visit www.buas.org