ONE familiar face missing from the thousands of visitors who thronged this year’s AgriScot was that of Bill Romanis whose vision it was for a major agri-business event outwith the summer show season in Scotland.
As Director of the Business Services Division of the NFUS in the 1980s he had helped launch both DairyScot and Scotgrow; the former as a focus for the Scottish dairy industry, the latter to promote the horticultural industry in Scotland.
Bill’s vision of a wider agri-business event saw DairyScot converted into AgriScot in 2001, by which time his own company, Rural Projects, was the organising force.
Although he retired from the company in 2007, leaving it to son in law, Martin Dare, Bill continued to take an interest in the development of AgriScot and took great joy from seeing it progress. He died only a few days before this year’s event.
Joining forces with the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, Bill also launched Gardening Scotland with his Rural Projects team. 
The first show took place in the year 2000 and moved from strength to strength with Bill receiving the Dr Andrew Duncan Medal from the Caley in 2007 for championing the cause of horticulture, for his foresight, enthusiasm and boundless energy but mostly for his crowning achievement in taking Gardening Scotland to unexpected heights
AgriScot and Gardening Scotland may have been the highlights of Bill’s career but they were backed up by many other efforts to promote and publicise Scotland’s farming and rural sectors. He was one of life’s enthusiasts.
In his early days, he worked for a number of organisations including the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society, the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs and the Scottish Milk Marketing Board.
Away from work, Bill was a devoted husband – celebrating his golden wedding with Fiona last December – a loving father and father-in-law and a granddad, proud of his five grandchildren.