Member of the Month – Julian Taylor, Show Director at the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association
Tell us more about the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA) and how it came to be a part of RASC?
The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association is very proud that in July 1957 The Duke of Edinburgh, then President of the Royal Show, hosted the first meeting of the new RASC on its new Costessey showground. The RNAA was a founder member of the RASC, which now has more than 50 national and regional show associations in 20 Commonwealth countries.
How has RNAA benefitted from the commonwealth relations?
Having been in a the start the RNAA have attended many of the RASC Conferences making vital business and social friendships that have allowed us to benefit from a free exchange of information concerning the running of shows and showgrounds across the globe. We have over the years, hosted many groups from the Commonwealth Show Societies at the Royal Norfolk Show and continue to do so.
What key learning points have been achieved through this relationship?
Education of not only our visitors to the show but our regional population about all things agricultural and countryside is central to all that we endeavour to achieve at the RNAA. We should engage at every opportunity by making use of our members and their businesses so that we can employ the brightest workforce possible in a diverse industry that will need to increase agricultural output from fewer inputs on an ever decreasing area.
Has information and ideas shared by fellow societies across the commonwealth been implemented throughout your organisation?
Social media and its oversight by trained members of staff is crucial to most societies and their shows. Senior staff must embrace its use even if they do not understand it. There is huge potential to contact our members and visitors with both within and without the show.
At the Conference I was intrigued with the idea of the collection of ‘Big Data’ through the transfer of information from mobile telephones as visitors move around our showgrounds. It appeared that in Australia the commercial banks are able to share the analysis of this information with the major societies.
How do you hope your relationship will develop with RASC and fellow commonwealth organisations?
I know that on a personal level both my wife Philippa and I will want to attend Conferences in the future, we are particularly looking forward to Singapore 2016 as it is intriguing as to us how a country with 2% of it land area committed to agriculture endeavours to feed itself.
What exciting things are coming up at RNAA?
The Royal Norfolk Show is looming large in our calendar as it takes place on the 1st and 2nd July. The Grand Ring program has been announced and we are thrilled that the Royal Household Cavalry Musical Ride will be showing off their skills. We have over 5000 school children booked in for the show in school parties, they will tour the show ground on trails that have been organised by ourselves in conjunction with the schools as part of their curriculum.
We will be hosting the ASAO Conference in November which is the annual gathering of all Agricultural Shows in the UK. The RNAA are leading members of Agri-Tech East which is a drive to reconnect farmers and scientists in Norfolk. We will be running a week of meetings and seminars in November to facilitate this. And finally, we will be hosting two very large music festivals in September – Sundown and Reload.