When you think of the French countryside, certain images may spring to mind: vast sunflower fields, rolling hills, fresh water springs, and the sight of grazing cows in the Limousin. Now imagine all of this in Paris. Yes, the countryside is coming to Paris for 9 days only!
The annual International Agricultural Show will take place from 27th February to 6th March at the Parc des Expositions at the Porte de Versailles. Each year, it attracts visitors from the four corners of France to learn about agriculture and breeding. Come discover the French countryside in the capital city of Paris!
Since its conception in 1964, the International Agricultural Show has become the biggest agricultural event in France. With more than 1,000 exhibitors and 3,000 animals coming from about forty countries, the show is a real opportunity to discover agriculture in all its diversity. Each year, for 9 days, around 700,000 visitors come to the Parc des Expositions in Paris to learn about French agriculture. Originally, the show was just an agricultural competition and has grown into a huge event. The competition remains an important aspect of the show every year with awards given to selected French wines and food, animals and young farmers. Almost 2,000 breeders and producers participate in the show every year.
Ahead of the World Climate Conference which took place in Paris in last December, the 2015 edition of the Agricultural Show was partly focused on the environment and the global warming. This year’s theme is ‘Agriculture and Food’; the aim is to reveal the importance of the socially-responsible agriculture and food in our everyday lives.
The International Agriculture Show will be divided in four main sectors:
- ‘Breeding’, with 330 breeds of the most beautiful animals on show including cows, bulls, ponies, donkeys, goats, sheep, rabbits, chicken, pigs, dogs, etc.
- ‘Culinary products’ where you can discover the very best of French food and drink.
- ‘Field crops and plants’ to learn more about industrial farming and new gardening trends.
- ‘Agricultural services and jobs’ – new practices and techniques are constantly being developed, this area allows you to discover first-hand the initiatives being taken in several domains of the agricultural world.
This year the star of the show is Cerise!
Cerise already takes her role very seriously, having already posed proudly in front of the cameras last September. Measuring 1.50m in height and weighing 850 kg, this cow is impressive. Her breeder, Joel Sillac, appreciates the huge honour of his protégée being the mascot of the 53rd International Agricultural Show. Cerise likes good hay harvested in summer as well as grazing in fields. The young Bazadaise (a French breed of beef cattle) cow likes walking freely and does not appreciate being tied to anything: ‘she does what she wants’, declares her owner. Cerise succeeds Filouse, a Flemish red purebred cow, last year’s mascot.
For people who live in big cities and urban areas, this event represents a real opportunity to discover the French countryside and to enjoy a change of scenery for a day.