Farmers can display their fine prime livestock and produce to a public that, in some cases (astonishing as it may seem) still believes that milk is a man-made product only to be found in supermarkets, and meat has no relationship whatsoever to the splendid cattle, sheep and pigs maintaining the glorious British countryside. Agricultural shows offer the general public a shop window view of the countryside, very much to be welcomed when so much of it was closed last year due to foot and mouth. Most show societies invest heavily in their education programmes, a major part of which includes informing visitors about the process by which food journeys from field to fork. I am pleased to see the major supermarkets supporting the shows both visibly and through sponsorship. I hope their reason for doing so is to ensure their involvement helps to get the message across that British is Best' and ­ as the farmer's slogan goes ­ Use us or lose us'! I also hope smaller food retailers will see the importance of becoming involved and encourage the public to recognise that British farmers produce safe, reliable, quality food. They also help preserve the countryside. So all in all they surely merit a fair price for their produce (please note Mrs Beckett!). The disaster of last year has surely emphasised that unless we have a thriving agricultural industry, rural businesses will not prosper. The present low prices and farm incomes have been contrived. Look around at other EU countries and you will find a different story. And now for a blatant plug: we look forward to welcoming record numbers of visitors to the South of England Show on June 6,7, & 8. {{NEWS }}