7th September 1833
The first meeting of the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society
Jersey’s farmers didn’t waste any time when, at a 26 August meeting chaired by the Lieutenant-Governor, a proposal was made to form an agricultural society on the island. Less than two weeks later, on 7 September, the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society held its first meeting, although it wasn’t incorporated by an Act of the States of Jersey until 1884.
It gained the royal patronage of King William IV within its first year, and this has been maintained by each monarch who has succeeded him.
A voice for the island’s farmers
The Society set out to promote modern farming ideas, advance the cause of agriculture, provide better housing for those who worked in the industry and promote good behaviour. Perhaps most importantly, though, it established the Jersey Herd Book, which records the ancestry of every official Jersey cow.
It also, eventually, purchased the land that became Springfield Showground, and used it to host cattle shows. It is now the site of Springfield Stadium where, among other fixtures, it is used for Jersey’s home matches in the Muratti Cup. The Society sold the ground to the States of Jersey in 1994.
The Society was initially based at St Helier’s Halkett Place but has moved to various sites throughout its existence, eventually arriving at its new office and showground in Trinity in 2000.
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