Show shows farmers are happy

The Upper Clutha A&P Show is the South Island’s second biggest and in my – admittedly biased opinion – the best.

It would be difficult to find a more picturesque place to hold a show than just over the road from Lake Wanaka and the second weekend in March usually guarantees good late summer/early autumn weather.

While some shows have been shrinking, Upper Clutha has grown, creeping further and further on to Brownston Park each year. It’s only a few years ago that the show had a couple of hundred exhibitors, this year there were 300.

That makes it big enough to have plenty to see and do without being so big you can’t see it all.

The show always attracts good numbers from throughout the lower South Island and further afield – we had a couple of French visitors with us – and numbers were boosted by Christchurch refugees.

The mood this year was particularly buoyant. 

Farmers haven’t had a season like this with lamb, ewe, wool, beef, dairy, crop and forestry prices all up at the same time for years, if at all.

Usually farmer-to-farmer questions over the season get at least a few grumbles.  This weekend while no-one was boasting, there was a quiet confidence in farming.

It’s not often that all the stars align for primary producers but it’s happening now. Farmers are happy and it showed at the show.

3 Responses to Show shows farmers are happy

  1. gravedodger says:

    Amuri A&P annual show at Rotherham a couple of weekends ago had a wonderfully positive air about it also and a big walkup crowd apparent with several saying they took the opportunity to have a day away from the rumbling city or would that be the rubbling city.
    The class for a “donated” fat lamb had nearly a hundred entries and would have netted the association well over $10 000. It also had Mrs Gd and self drooling over the one thing we miss about farming in our retirement,farm killed lamb/hogget/mutton always available.
    A wonderful day in the Amuri Basin with a S W change at close of play and a few showers of welcome rain for an almost perfect showday on one of the best country showgrounds around, sans Lake front backdrop,(of course an entirely unbiased opinion).
    Amuri used to boast the biggest sheep show in the SI after Christchurch A&P but that part has declined dramatically with the move to irrigated dairy production in the region. The show has an associated flock sheep comp and beef cattle class both judged apart from show day as stand alone events with their own wind up dinner/presentation nights and significant entries.
    The Show today incorporates many innovative activities including a steer riding comp, an enlarged Grand parade of modern and restored machinery and vehicles, promotional exhibits of proposals to progress growth and diversification alongside the traditional well supported horse and pony classes. As a window on the drive of this little corner of New Zealand to continue to underpin the rural sector with its contribution to our future, left one with a confidence that the primary productive industry is alive, healthy and growing and that is indeed very reassuring.

  2. adam2314 says:

    Aahh .. Memories.. memories.. That is what A & P shows are all about..

    We called it a Gymkana ( I think. I was so young )

    Newton Poppleford.. Devon.

    My grandfather in his best shiniest gaiters.. Steam engines.. In use every day then.. Draught horses so large it took a month to polish the brasses they wore.. At least two days to comb and plait their tails..

    New fangled tractors… That no one could afford.. If available. Due to war time restrictions.. ( but a view of tomorrow )..

    The stalls.. With preserves being given away most times.. By uncles and aunties..

    The COSSACKS.. Russians were our friends then ..( obviously Circus type People I think today )
    Picking up RED Kerchiefs with their teeth.. Sticking pegs with their lances .. TRUE..

    That is what A & P shows are all about.. The memories that your younger ones hold onto..

    Memories that build NZ different to the rest of the world..

    Long may they go on..

  3. Fredinthegrass says:

    Finally managed to fit a visit to Wanaka at “ShowTime” – magnificent.
    21 of us on a four wheel drive adventure altered the schedule to go to the show.
    The ‘guys’ drooled over machinery and imagined the expensive autos in their shed.
    The girls reckoned it was the best day they had experienced in ages – some making significant purchases. In all a vey happy – if poorer – group.

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