A chartered accountant and corporate finance advisor has been appointed as the latest President of one of Shropshire’s premier one-day shows.
Jo Ford will hold the honorary role at Newport Show until September 2019. The 110th show will take place at Chetwynd Deer Park on July 13.
The prestigious role is a continuation of a long association with the show for Jo, who lives in Tibberton with his wife Beth and daughters Georgina and Kitty.
A regular attendee for many years, he joined the show’s voluntary committee in 2006 before becoming treasurer in 2007 and vice president in 2017. He managed the financing of the build and extension of The Lodge at the showground, which is used for education and training for local schools and voluntary organisations as well as office space for the show team.
Jo has strong links to agriculture through his wife, who comes from several generations of farmers in Mucklestone and Cheswardine.
He is a keen supporter of other local organisations including Newport RFC where he is Vice President and plays for the veterans’ team. He was also the chairman of the management committee of Tibberton Community Shop from its inception until 2017.
With a background in business and finance, the former Grove School student and Warwick University graduate is looking forward to putting his skills to use during his year in office.
“It is an honour to be appointed to lead the team that works hard all year round to plan and deliver a superb day of activities,” said Jo. “The show is one of the highlights in the local calendar and is increasingly a date in the diary for many families who know that Newport Show is a fabulous, affordable, day out with a packed programme of activities to enjoy.
“I hope my experience in finance and as a non-executive director in business will bring a different set of skills to the table and help to further enhance our offering. We’re already planning for next year and there are lots of ideas being discussed to create an exciting line up for our visitors and exciting ways in which we can develop the educational and technological themes.”
Next year’s show will build on the success of this year’s event, which saw a bumper turnout in the summer heatwave.
Although the show remains true to its traditional agricultural roots with 140 cattle and sheep classes, it also offers numerous non-agricultural events and displays.
The horse show includes qualifying classes for the Horse of the Year show and three of the top winners in the dog show secure a place to compete at Crufts.
There is also a Festival of Food with demonstrations, masterclasses and the best of regional food and drink, along with family entertainment, vintage vehicle and machinery displays, an educational hub, an antique and country living marquee, handicraft and horticulture competitions and fairground rides.