Farming on parade as combine stars in Lord Mayor’s Show

A state of the art combine harvester is taking to the streets of central London for one of the UK’s most historic parades.

The NFU has teamed up with The Worshipful Company of Farmers and agricultural equipment manufacturer John Deere for this year’s Lord Mayor’s Show (Saturday November 8) to encourage the public to back British farming. The high-tech machine is being used to demonstrate how our food is produced and will be transformed with stunning vinyl graphics depicting the great British countryside.

The John Deere S685i combine will be driven from Mansion House to St Paul’s Cathedral and on to the Strand before a return leg along the Embankment and Queen Victoria Street and back to Mansion House. The 22 foot combine header will be towed by a 1946 John Deere Model D tractor.

Eight young farmers representing the NFU’s seven English regions and Wales will accompany the combine to promote farming and agriculture as a modern and vibrant industry that provides a wide range of career opportunities such as agronomists, scientists, vets and engineers.

This year is the 687th Lord Mayor’s Show and is expected to attract crowds of more than half a million people on the day, lining the pavements on the three mile long procession through the City of London, as well as millions more watching the live broadcast on BBC 1.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “We are very honoured and excited to take part in one of London’s biggest and most prestigious events. Being involved with the Lord Mayor’s Show is a wonderful opportunity to showcase farming to a wide audience, many who won’t have seen a combine harvester up close before. The combine will look stunning and will be specially branded to promote our back British farming messages and to let the public know that farmers are proud to produce their food.

“Having eight young farmers with us, all of them passionate about what they do, will also provide the perfect platform to engage with the watching crowds and inform them about the different and varied careers available in agriculture.”

One of the young farmers participating is 21 year old Rebecca Kelsall from Cheshire. She is studying a BSc in Agri-business at Harper Adams University but is currently on a placement year working with Genus ABS in Nantwich. “I’m incredibly overwhelmed to have been put forward to represent all farmers in the North West. I couldn’t be more excited for this amazing once in a lifetime opportunity, and being a face of British agriculture. This whole experience is just so overwhelming and I feel so lucky and proud to be a part of it all.”

Nick Padwick from the Worshipful Company of Farmers said: “This year’s Lord Mayor’s Show is going to be a great opportunity for us to showcase young people as we have had the privilege to engage with eight young farmers coming into the industry. This will hopefully show the public that farming has many related industries, so if someone watching sees a young girl or boy who is training to be a dairy specialist, a vet, somebody in education or going down the road of a machinery engineer, this will demonstrate that farming is not just about growing crops. John Deere this year has also been very kind to lend us one of their largest combines which will give the general public a view of how food is produced before it gets to their plates.”

Chris Wiltshire from John Deere said: “John Deere is proud to support British farming and to demonstrate that support with our combine in the Lord Mayor’s Show. It’s not often we get the chance to show a machine of this size in a town or city, and taking part in this parade in the centre of London is very special.”

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