They also announced the Charity of the Year for 2022
Elizabeth Buchanan CVO LLD FRAgs will return as the charity’s President. Elizabeth was President in 2020, but the pandemic meant working together was very limited, so the charity made the natural choice to invite her back for 2022.
Former Private Secretary to TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and previously Press Secretary to Lady Thatcher, Miss Buchanan is a non-executive director of D.E.F.R.A., an advisor to Waitrose, Saputo Dairy UK and the McDonald’s UK & Ireland, and sits on the BBC Rural Affairs Committee. Elizabeth also runs her family’s organic beef farm in Nutley, East Sussex, which was established in 1976, meaning she is no stranger to both the policy and the practical ends of the agricultural sector.
For 2022, Elizabeth has selected The Prince’s Countryside Fund as the Society’s charity of the year. Established by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2010, the charity exists to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life. The Fund provides more than £1m in grant and initiative funding each year, supporting projects across the UK that help to provide a secure future for the countryside.
This includes The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, a highly successful business skills training scheme, which offers advice to family farm businesses in 15 locations each year. It was run from Plumpton College in 2016 and 2017, and this year is operating in the High Weald AONB. The Fund also commissions research into issues affecting farming families and rural communities, acts as an advocate for the countryside by bringing together individuals and businesses to help tackle current challenges, and helps communities in crisis through their Emergency Fund.
President, Elizabeth Buchanan said, “Having visited the showground since my childhood and shown our Sussex Cattle there on many occasions, it is a huge honour and privilege to once again be appointed President of the South of England Agricultural Society. The Society sits at the heart of the farming community in the South East of England and, as agricultural policy undergoes its greatest change in seventy years, is perfectly placed to raise awareness and support through its shows and other charitable activities. I am enormously grateful that The Prince’s Countryside Fund, which cares for the people who care for the countryside and so looks after all of us, will be their Charity of the Year.”
The South of England Agricultural Society exists to fund and support agricultural education and promote countryside learning across the southern counties of Kent, East and West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Berkshire. Their support of The Prince’s Countryside Fund in 2022 will include raising awareness through their network of members and supporters and providing the charity with an opportunity to fundraise at their various events held throughout the year, including the ever-popular South of England Show which takes place on 10th, 11th, and 12th June 2022.
Corrie Ince, Show Director of The South of England Agricultural Society commented, “We’re absolutely delighted that Elizabeth has accepted the role of President again. Her boundless enthusiasm and passion for the land and our cause is second to none. Her selection of The Prince’s Countryside Fund as our charity to support throughout the year couldn’t be more fitting – supporting land-based industries and people with an interest or involvement in agriculture, horticulture and the countryside is central to our overall objective.”
Alongside Elizabeth, Tim Waters, Chairman of Mid Sussex Timber will be the Society’s Deputy President for 2022 in recognition of his outstanding support to the Society in many different roles for over 40 years, including as a trustee of the charity until recently.
Elizabeth, Tim, and representatives from The Prince’s Countryside Fund will be attending The South of England Agricultural Society’s next event – Spring Live! on 23rd – 24th April 2022 at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex. For more information, visit www.seas.org.uk