The 59th International Agricultural Show (SIA) is being held at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center (75015) from February 25 to March 5, 2023.
Every year, since 1963, the SIA has been created under the name of National Center for Agricultural Exhibitions and Competitions (CENECA) by Edgar Pisani, then Minister of Agriculture, a group of national and international agricultural exhibitions and competitions, whose Paris general competition. The latter, created in 1870 was first devoted to animals and then to local products and wines. It was the descendant of the agricultural shows, from the 18th century and was one of the two major markets that supplied the capital with slaughter animals. The “fatty animals” or “butchery animals” competition was held in 1844 in Poissy, in the Yvelines and has become a benchmark in the agricultural community.
The first SIA opened its doors in March 1964, it welcomed more than 300,000 visitors and became the essential place of passage for politicians. In addition, the cow has been the emblem of the show since 2000. Each year, a new breed is chosen. The selection body for the selected breed designates the animal that best represents it. In 2013, the show celebrates its 50th anniversary by honoring 7 animals representing the 7 breeds of the Concours Général Agricole. In 2016, the “Cerise” cow benefited for the first time from digital communication. In 2020, the show is cut short but brings back a great success; the following year, it was canceled following the pandemic and returned in 2022 to the delight of visitors, farmers and exhibitors. It welcomed 502,757 fans.
This year, the theme of the show is: “Agriculture: a passion, ambitions”. It highlights training, trades, know-how and innovations, bringing together breeders, producers, regions, professional organizations and unions, ministries and public bodies or research institutes. There are 4 universes:
- Agriculture Trades and Services
- Breeding and its sectors
- Crops and plant sectors. Garden and vegetable patch.
- Products from the regions of France, Overseas and the World.
The muse cow 2023
Each year, the muse cow honors an animal, a product and a breeder. This year, it’s Ovalie, a 5-year-old Salers cow whose owners are Marine and Michel Van Simmertier. She was born in 2018 in Cézallier, on the borders of Cantal and Puy de Dôme, in Lesparot in the town of St Alvre at 1,100 meters above sea level.
The Salers breed was born in Auvergne and bears the name of its cradle. Originally, it was a draft animal producing cheese, meat and milk.
Today there are nearly 220,000 representatives of this easy-to-adapt race thanks to its ease of driving and its autonomy. It addresses new issues and the installation of young breeders. The Salers is the breed of the 21st century.
She was selected to appear on the poster for the show because she perfectly illustrates her breed (mahogany dress, long curly hair, long and thin light colored horns in the shape of a lyre, calm and docile character). It bears its name thanks to the love that the owners have for the oval ball.
Thanks to this selection, Michel and Marie Van Simmertier are proud that Ovalie is the face of the show and “hope to send a positive message for agriculture to the general public, to make the profession of breeder better known, to share their daily lives, highlight the Salers breed and even encourage vocations, agriculture needs passionate women and men!”
This young couple, aged 34 and 32, represents the new face of agriculture. She is from Alsace, he from Seine-et-Marne, they started the adventure 5 years ago when neither of them came from an agricultural background. This adventure started thanks to the love they had for the Salers and its territory even before being farmers. To realize their dream, and have their own farm while planning their GAEC (Groupement Agricole d’Exploitation en Commun), they had to follow agricultural studies. Their mission is to “promote the Salers breed, their territory and French agriculture in general.
Visit of the President of the Republic
The President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron went to the SIA for the inauguration and spent the whole day there to meet and discuss with the exhibitors, while insisting on the importance of sovereignty in agricultural matters.
Pavilion 1 caught his attention during the morning. Arrived around 7:40 am, accompanied by Marc Fesneau, Minister of Agriculture and Hervé Berville, Secretary of State for the Sea. He took part in a round table with fishermen in which he mentioned the rise in fuel prices, the Brexit and pledged to find short-term solutions.
At 9:40 a.m., the President cuts the ribbon. After posing with the muse of the show, the Salers Ovalie and activating the breeders, worried about their future and the maintenance of their income, the President continued his journey by meeting behind closed doors one of the professional agricultural organizations. Sovereignty, impact of global warming, water management, doctrine on phytosanitary products when France has just banned pesticides following a European court decision, were on the program but also a proposal for a new plan on pesticides to leverage the actions of France and the European Union. The Head of State wishes to have a policy at European level that is more harmonized.
The Head of State continued his visit with the meat interprofessional, the sheep-goat sector, the wine industry and the fruit and vegetable sector in the middle of the afternoon, then the intergrain bakers and the brewers.
The President’s visit lasted more than 12 hours but did not break the 2.30 pm record. Despite this, she was not calm. On a record several incidents including the arrest of environmental activists, the pension file, fuel poverty, climate or drought. If the head of state was greeted with applause, he was also booed several times, not to mention the incident linked to the young man overpowered by security who challenged the President on the thermal renovation plan.
A busy day for Emmanuel Macron who left the show around 8:30 p.m.