A star is born. Oreillette, a five-year-old Norman cow, raised by two farmers (father and daughter) in Orne, will be the face of the next Agricultural Show in Paris from February 24 to March 3, 2024, announced Tuesday organizers. With its three-color dress and “well-designed” glasses, this cow decorated at the 2023 National Normandy competition “is the ideal ambassador of the Normandy breed, honored at the 2024 International Agricultural Show”. “This sequence will, I am sure, be a festive moment,” underlines the president of the show, Jean-Luc Poulain, quoted in a press release.
Oreillette comes from the breeding of François and Lucie Foucault, located near Flers (Orne). The father, who took over the family farm in 1987, hired his daughter in 2020. They have around a hundred Normandy cows, whose milk is then transformed into Camembert and Pont-l'Évêque AOP. The Normande is the third largest cattle breed in France, with nearly 6,000 herds and 190,000 head, according to the organizers.
The Agricultural Show, an annual high mass and popular meeting for politicians, attracted 615,000 visitors this year. That is more than in 2022, in the middle of the electoral period and reunions after the health crisis, when it welcomed 503,000 visitors. The record dates back to 2014, with more than 700,000 visitors. The crowds on the last Saturday of the Show, marked this year by the increased presence of groups of drunken young people, had also forced the organizers to close access earlier.
The organizers of the event – which takes place over nine days, including two weekends – are considering ways to avoid a bottleneck in the future: tickets which are currently valid for any of the days of the exhibition could for example be increased on Saturdays and Sundays, or valid for a particular day – which would make it possible to control the daily number of visitors.