Agriculture was one of the rounds delegated to me when I first started work as a reporter. One of the responsibilities which went with that was reporting on the monthly Provincial Federated Farmers meeting.

That was nearly 30 years ago when North Otago, like most provinces, had several active branches and the monthly meeting regularly had 30 or more attendees.

Now there are no branches and no monthly meetings. That’s not all bad. Other methods of communication, especially the internet, mean gathering together in one place isn’t as important as it used to be. Meetings happen now not as a matter of course but because there is something important to discuss or someone to listen to.

One of those meetings was held in Oamaru today. When I walked in I remembered how the meetings I used to attend were full of old men. Those attending today didn’t look nearly as old. Then I realised that wasn’t because attendees had got younger, it was because I’ve got older.

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