President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society’s (JAS) St. James Association of Branch Societies, Mayor Glendon Harris, made the announcement at a press launch of the show at Sunset Beach Resort in Montego Bay on March 18.
He said the St. James group is currently managing the construction of the Roger Clarke Exhibition Hall on the Montpelier Show Grounds.
The 400 square foot building, Mr. Harris said, features a display section in which the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) demonstration area will be located, a wall display of pictures featuring Mr. Clarke, a meeting room, an auditorium for local JAS functions, all located on the ground floor, as well as a VIP lounge on the upper floor.
“We started construction three weeks ago and we are proud to say that we are at belting now. We have pledges coming in to assist us in its completion and furnishing,” Mr. Harris said.
He expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Agriculture, which is among the sponsors of the $7 million project.
Other new features of this year’s show will be the official launch of the Montego Bay Community College’s tutorial farming ground, and the schools’ garden competition display.
Mayor Harris informed that the added features have resulted from the partnership among the JAS, RADA and educational institutions in the parish, aimed at encouraging youth involvement in agriculture.
The show will have its usual displays and competitions among the JAS branches in St. James. There will also be a Kiddies Village, Health Village, an Educational Village (HEART/NTA), a dog show, displays from car companies, food display, art & craft, a stage show featuring popular and gospel artistes and the signature Miss St. James Farm Queen Competition. Gates will open at 9:00 am to facilitate judging.
The show has attracted sponsorship from RADA, Hippo animal feeds, Jamaica Public Service (JPS), Margaritaville, and Smith & Stewart Limited (trading as Crazy Jim Ice Cream).