Ag day needs more judges

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - EMMA JAMES

Agri­cul­tural days at school are al­ways pop­u­lar among chil­dren, but find­ing judges can be hard.

Alf Cox has been the pres­i­dent of a Waikato Boys’ and Girls’ Agri­cul­tural Group and said it has been dif­fi­cult to find judges, par­tic­u­larly for the lamb sec­tion.

He said there is a dire need for judges and if no one comes for­ward, the threat of wind­ing the events up is very real.

He puts it down to more adults work­ing in the busi­ness sec­tor than at home.

‘‘Back in the old days a lot of peo­ple didn’t en­ter the main­stream work­force, there were a lot more farm­er­sthat had spare time,’’ he said.

Ag Days - as the events are fondly called - take place in Oc­to­ber every year, with chil­dren par­tic­i­pat­ing with a lamb, calf or kid (baby goat).

But the school events take place dur­ing busi­ness hours in­stead of week­ends, which makes it hard for judges to at­tend.

Cox said prior judg­ing ex­pe­ri­ence wasn’t nec­es­sary as peo­ple can be trained on what to look for, but peo­ple with a ru­ral back­ground that took part in ag days as chil­dren would be ideal.

‘‘But it’s open ages,’’ he said.

Some­times there up to 50 an­i­mals per event, so it can get busy. Each ru­ral school has its own ag day, then there is a com­bined day for all the schools in the area.

Then if the chil­dren want to, they can com­pete at the Waikato Show.

Cox said a lot of stu­dents come down from Auck­land to take part.

‘‘They come and see what we do and they re­ally en­joy it, be­cause it’s like liv­ing on an­other planet for some them that come from the city,’’ he said. to all

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