The Charolais breed National Championship competition involved 430 animals at the 2016 Sommet de L’Elevage.
My recent trip to Clermont-Ferrand, France to attend and cover the Sommet de L’Elevage was both enlightening and enjoyable. Although a very busy week, going back to my roots as an on-the-scene reporter for the event, what made it especially enjoyable was the hospitality of the French people and all of the farm producers I have grown to know in this southern central agricultural region of France.
Portraits Sommet Elevage, Benoit Delaloy, ,Clermont 11/09/2014 Photo R Brunel
If you’re into cattle and livestock or just interested in the French culture itself, you should enjoy this in-depth interview with the Sommet’s Director of International Relations, Benoit Delaloy. We talk about the show and its history of course, but a whole lot more. Some of what you would hear and see if you attend this show sometime, might surprise you if unfamiliar with the French culture or its modern cattle industry breeding efforts.
This was my second trip to the region. Last year I missed this show by two weeks while visiting an agricultural journalist friend who writes for a major mainstream newspaper in the area. My friend Dominique Diogon has been writing about nothing but agriculture in his region for more than a decade and it has been interesting to trade information about some issues on which we both report, such as international trade as an example.
I’ve found farmers and ranchers to be very similar just about anywhere I’ve met them around the world during my travels over the past 35 years of building this ag media company. But these French folks have been especially hospitable each time I’ve visited the area, they are genuine and curious and they share many of the same issues as do our producers. I’ve always found it most enjoyable and educational to share conversation with farmers in other parts of the world.
AgNet’s Gary Cooper (Center left side blue shirt) is hosted for a dinner with a group of French cattle producers and industry leaders, who are planning a visit to the U. S. sometime within the next year.
Although this year’s Sommet de L’Elevage (“Livestock Summit”) drew nearly 90,000 visitors from more than two dozen countries, and featured more than two-thousand animals on display, I quickly realized after my arrival at the International Reception area that I was the first U. S. Journalist ever to attend this major European livestock event. Stay tuned for more feature follow-ups as I find time to go through more notes and material I collected while there.