It was with some disappointment that (due to COVID-19) my colleagues in our rural team had this year to forego the much talked of bacon rolls served at our annual breakfast on the opening day of the Royal Highland Show.
Imagine their excitement, then, on the announcement of Scotland's first digital agricultural show which takes place on 3 and 4 July. Even the prospect of supplying their own food (and drink) hasn't dampened the team's enthusiasm to get their rural show fix.
Even better is the prospect of not being dampened by the unpredictable Scottish summer weather.
Hosted by The Press and Journal and The Courier, cattle, sheep, horse, goat and poultry producers have been invited to film their stock at home and upload the videos to be judged online by some of the country’s top breeders.
Virtual livestock rings will allow aspiring judges to view the entries, with breed and class winners being announced in the course of the two days. My colleagues and I will be taking particular interest in the poultry section (sponsored by Ledingham Chalmers) where the fight is on for winners in classes for bantams, water fowl, rare breeds and eggs.
And if a break from all of that excitement is needed, entertainment will be provided in digital marquees, showcasing Scotland’s top produce and chefs on the site explaining how best to cook and prepare meals. Other competitions include public votes for the nation’s favourite photographs of vintage machinery, dogs and cakes.
With the guarantee of a rain free event, and the enthusiasm and camaraderie the annual rural show season is famous for, the scene is set for a great event.
And, yes, there is even a beer tent.
The livestock and horse lines are always a popular attraction at agricultural shows, and while you can’t go and touch your favourite animal and see it walking among its peers at shows in person this year, our show gives you the chance to see some of the finest animals from across Scotland from the safety and comfort of your own home.