Royal Welsh elects 2019 President

11 December 2018

Renowned and highly respected cattle farmer, Mr Seimon Thomas FRAgS, has been officially elected as the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s President for 2019.  

It is during the society’s annual council meeting, held this year at the showground on Friday 7 December, that the society’s feature counties begin and end their term-of-office. Following in the footsteps of the 2018 Feature County of Montgomeryshire, it is now the turn of Pembrokeshire to take up the mantle for forthcoming year of 2019.

Seimon Thomas was proposed by the Chair of the Pembrokeshire Advisory Committee, Meurig James, who said; “It’s a privilege and an honour to propose Seimon as the 2019 President for the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.”

Seimon, his wife Eleanor, children Hanna and Sion and the whole family are well known throughout the agricultural industry as leaders in the dairy industry. As the third generation to farm at Drysgolgoch, Llwyndrain, Pembrokeshire, the family run the highly successful Drisgol herd. With 700 cows and followers, it is the largest Dairy Shorthorn herd in the UK.

Mr Seimon Thomas FRAgS, with wife, Eleanor

In accepting the presidential role, Seimon said “As a four year old boy showing Dairy Shorthorn cattle at Llanelwedd with my father and grandfather, never did I dream of one day being afforded the honour and privilege by the Pembrokeshire agricultural community of being elected their President of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society in 2019.

Addressing the council members, Seimon went on to say; “Having had the opportunity to judge at the four Royal Shows of the United Kingdom has been a great privilege but being elected President of the best show of all is the greatest honour. My gratitude extends to the Pembrokeshire committee led, by our chair Mr Meurig James, for the privilege of being nominated for this honour on behalf of my home county.

“I will preside over such a successful society, which has over the years been led by such a wonderful team, which I am now looking forward to working alongside. On behalf of Pembrokeshire we look forward to an exciting and prosperous 2019 for the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society.”

Pembrokeshire’s preparations began in earnest 12 months ago, under the excellent guidance of the advisory committee. With dozen of events having already taken place, the fundraising efforts of the busy county are now in full swing.

Also taking over the reins last week was Miss Emily Davies. Emily, introduced by Mr Edward Perkins, President of the society in 2007 when Pembrokeshire were last Feature County, was officially elected as the society’s Lady Ambassador for 2019.

Emily, along with other, hardworking volunteers, have been working hard over the past 12 months to design and launch the range of Pembrokeshire merchandise as well as organise and run numerous fund raising events.

Together with a dedicated team of likeminded people, Emily will be embarking on a week-long Cows on Tour Roadshow, finishing at the Smallholding and Countryside Festival, here at the showground on 18 & 19 May 2019. Volunteers will literally be bringing the farmyard to the school yard, taking over schools for a whole day to speak to youngsters about where their food comes from.

Roadshow activities will include a variety of hands‐on activities inside and outside the classroom, with the aim of telling the farming story, encouraging local communities to get involved, raising awareness of the RWAS and raising money for two farming charities; RABI and DPJ Foundation.

With many more events planned for 2019, the committee are also studiously working behind the scenes organising the Royal Welsh Grassland and Muck event on the 6th June 2019 at Cardeeth Farm near Carew by kind permission of Hugh and David James, Langdon Mill.

“We have been overwhelmed and feel very blessed with the tremendous support received in Pembrokeshire from the five regional committees, the Young Members and the Ladies Committee.” explained Seimon “Our Pembrokeshire appeal fund will be used to start on planning and construction of a new Welsh Exhibition Centre, to be a flexible facility offering a variety of options to all industries of Wales and further afield. This building will also provide new offices for our hard-working staff at Llanelwedd.  I would like to sincerely thank everyone involved for the support we have had during our feature county year.”

2019 will be the fifth time Pembrokeshire has been the feature county since the Royal Welsh Show settled permanently at the showground in 1963. The unique structure of feature counties and advisory committees is what sets the society apart from others and ensures the people of Wales retain ownership of the events. The fundraising efforts of all the counties since 1963 have contributed millions of pounds which are invested back into the showground, making it one of the finest in Europe. This has created a real sense of shared ownership to our site.