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BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson on hunt at Bath and West Show

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 30, 2014

By Tina Rowe

Show manager Alan Lyons with Adam Henson at the Royal Bath and West Show   PICTURE:  Fran Stothard

Show manager Alan Lyons with Adam Henson at the Royal Bath and West Show PICTURE: Fran Stothard

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The Royal Bath and West Show is the place to scout out innovations and great characters – just ask BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson.

And the Gloucestershire farmer reckons there is no better time for young people to go into the "food chain" industries.

Henson, who keeps traditional rare breed cattle at Cotswold Farm Park, near Cheltenham, was in his element during a visit to the show with his family yesterday.

He was in awe of the beasts in the beef cattle rings, where he presented the prizes in the interbreed best group of three championship. British Limousins shown by W J & M Mash Ltd of Torrington Farm, Chesham, Buckinghamshire took the top award, but Henson must have been pleased to see Gloucestershire well represented, with British Simmentals from Boddington Estates near Cheltenham taking the reserve.

He said: "This is an absolutely magnificent turn-out of cattle. It's fantastic, and a very, very difficult job for the judge.

"We keep traditional rare British breeds at home but I am always envious of these fantastic commercial cattle and the amazing work of beef production.

"Agricultural colleges and universities are full again and young farmers' clubs nationally are doing well, and world food production is on the up with the growing population. It's a great industry and business to be in, and wonderful to see the Bath and West doing a great job show-casing British agriculture.

"I'm always on the look-out for innovative ideas. And also great characters that I might want to film with in the future in the world of farming and the food supply chain. I'm not just looking at quality animals, also the products, machines, the whole food supply chain. I walk around with my phone ready to click," he added.

"I have brought the kids with me. One of my sons is very keen on farming and I am looking and showing them the professionalism of modern agriculture, all the technology involved.

"The days when if you could drink cider and use a scythe was enough are over. But it is a career that careers advisers tend to forget."

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson stressed that food and drink is the largest manufacturing industry in the country during his visit to the show yesterday.

"But 30 per cent is imported which could be produced in this country.

"You have a Government that fully understands that there isn't unlimited cheap food to be imported," he added.

Food exports are increasing. Mr Paterson said: "Last year we opened 112 new export markets and have Foreign Office teams working hard and very good ambassadors out there promoting British products."

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