A NEW president will be taking over the helm of the Melplash Agricultural Society this year.

Retired farmer Tim Frost succeeds Richard King, who stood down at the society’s AGM after his year in office.

Mr Frost and his family have been involved with the society since the family moved to Childhay Manor Farm, Blackdown, Beaminster in 1941.

His late brother, Tony, was chairman in 1986, became president in 2003 and was the commentator of the grand parade at the show for more than 12 years.

Mr Frost’s children, Will and Lucy, are also involved in the society with Will being a society director, as well as being a chairman in 2016 and 2017, and Lucy is the current health and safety officer.

Mr Frost and his wife Monica took over the running of Childhay Manor in 1965 where they have milked cows and made the well-known Childhay ice cream.

His son has joined him in making dairy farming their business and they produce organic milk at Childhay Manor, as well as running a successful goat farm together with the team at Forde Abbey. Here they have 2,500 milking goats that are milked three times a day and produce almost 10 per cent of the country’s goat milk.

Mr Frost said: “I am extremely honoured to become president of the Melplash Agricultural Society after many years of family involvement.

“The Melplash Show is a wonderful showcase of what west Dorset is all about. It continues to go from strength to strength thanks to the wonderful support and the commitment given by the committee, the section chairmen, the volunteers, the exhibitors and of course the general public who attend on the day.

“As well as the show, I am looking forward immensely to the other annual competitions that take place – gardens and allotments, rural craft, farms and flocks, young farmers dairy stock judging and of course the annual hedge laying and ploughing match. All play an essential role in the success of the society.

“The future of farming relies on the younger generation coming through and it is pleasing to see the interest that is shown in the society’s Discover Farming programme. Not only does it help to educate young people about where their food comes from but gives a greater understanding of the excellent career opportunities available in farming today.

“I look forward to taking part in all these activities.”