Mid Sussex based farmer, Charlie Burgoyne, was elected as Chairman of the South of England Agricultural Society at their annual general meeting last week, to steer the organisation through an exciting three-year period of growth.
Charlie Burgoyne, who has volunteered for the Society for over 16 years, manages a beef and arable farm, fishery and business park at More House Farm in Wivelsfield, which he owns with his father, and also manages neighbouring Heaselands Estate for the Kleinwort family, where he first built a 500 cow unit and then amalgamated the existing herds into it before developing the redundant buildings into offices and units.
He said, “I’ve spent 20 years developing new ways of attracting money into our businesses and driving cost out and will bring this experience to bear at the South of England Agricultural Society which, like all organisations in this day and age, has to diversify and maximise its assets to be successful.
“We are stepping up our focus on promoting the superb, flexible Event Centre and the great events team we have at Ardingly and we are also looking to at least double our sponsorship income in the next three years, so that we can effectively support our Society’s education work and continue to create the spectacular South of England Show, which so many thousands of people enjoy every year.”
Carole Hayward will remain as Vice Chairman, supporting Charlie Burgoyne and the Society has elected several new Trustees this year, including Doug Jackson, director of agri-business at Savills, District Councillor Mandy Thomas-Atkin and Tom Gribble, a farmer from Lewes. Previous Chairman Michael Lambert has remained a Trustee going forward. As announced previously this year, the Society’s 2016 President is Charles Moore, former editor of The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator supported by Deputy President Brian Williams.
The South of England Agricultural Society supports many thousands of young people in the region to learn more about agriculture and rural career opportunities, as well as providing bursaries and opportunities for advancement to students in countryside professions.
Iain Nicol, CEO of the South of England Agricultural Society said: “Charlie’s experience and knowledge is invaluable to us and his working knowledge and expertise in farming and business will contribute greatly to the Society.”
The South of England Agricultural Society is a charitable membership organisation, based at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, promoting agriculture and other land based industries and advancing education in farming, animal husbandry, horticulture and forestry. It spans the six southern counties of England.
The first major show of the year at Ardingly is the Spring Garden & Leisure Show on May 1 and 2; with the South of England Show on June 9, 10 and 11 2016. Find out more at www.seas.org.uk