The Black Isle Farmers’ Society was formed at a meeting in Avoch on 22nd March 1836 and the first Black Isle Show was held at Fortrose on 6th October of the same year.
The Society exists to promote the Interests of Agriculture and meets regularly throughout the year. In addition, the Society holds its Presentation of Show Trophies in November, a Bonspiel in January, a Ploughing Match in February and as the Main Event of the year, The Annual Black Isle Show on the first Thursday in August.
To continue promoting our aims and objectives we are constantly improving the Showground and facilities to make it more “user friendly” and attractive to the admission paying public. The admission fees are wholly expended in helping us achieve our ongoing charitable objectives. In 2010 we continued with our improvements as we have done in previous years, including building 2 new Buildings to house the Wool, Crooks, Fur & Feather and Goats. 2010 saw the Society host the National Beltex Sheep Show, this was accomodated within one of the new sheds at the “livestock”end of the Show, The roadside fence alongside the new path was also completed in 2010. More improvements are planned in 2011 including some more tarred walkways in some of the busier aisles.
From 1836 onwards, the Black Isle Show was held on various sites throughout the area on fields provided by farmer members. The Society acquired its own permanent Showground at Muir of Ord in 1955 and the first Show on the present site, now called Mannsfield, was held in 1957.
Mannsfield Showground was purchased outright by the Society in 2003, providing the opportunity to improve and upgrade facilities. This ongoing programme continues. In 2005 with the building of a Sheep Shearing Shed. The completion of the new toilet and shower block at the “Livestock End” of the showground just prior to the 2006 show proved its worth at an extremely busy show.
The 2007 Show saw the completion of a purpose built structure to house the popular “Food & Craft” stands. This building extends to 1100 square metres in floor area and has saved the Society a considerable amount in annual rental charges of marquees and temporary fittings. At the same time as this building was being constructed a new 3 phase electricity supply was installed throughout the Showfield making the Showfield more “user friendly” throughout the year. . In 2007 & 2008 the main roadways and walkways have been tarred amounting to some 3,500 square metres. This programme of tarring was continued til the present date adding to the overall Show experience.
Office Bearers and Directors 2019
The Black Isle Farmers’ Society is a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee and as such its Office Bearers are Directors of the Company.
- President – Donald MacLeod, Eathie Mains, Cromarty
- Vice-President – Freida Mckenzie, Muirton, Munlochy
- Junior Vice-President – Amy Grant, Kinnahaird, Contin
- Past President – Stephen Mackenzie, Auchmore, Muir of Ord
- David Mckenzie, Balcraig, Balvullich, Muir of Ord
- Isobel McCallum, Belmaduthy, Munlochy
- Donald Fraser, Dunain Mains, Inverness
- Honorary Treasurer – Andrew Gammie, Croftcruinie, Tore
- Secretary and Treasurer – Rod Mackenzie, Mannsfield, Muir of Ord, IV6 7RS.
There is also a General Committee of around sixty five members who represent all the various livestock, flower show, craft, food, ring events/entertainment committees. The General Committee meets around six times in the course of a year.
There is no doubt that the smooth running of the Society, most especially on the day of the Black Isle Show, is the experience, knowledge and commitment of the many volunteers who are involved resulting in a homely and community event enjoyed by many, young and old, from near and far.