It sounds like a cliché, but this is the event that really gave me a connection with agriculture as a child.
Yes, my Mum’s first degrees was in Ag Science; yes, my Dad had a The Good Life obsession; and yes, we lived on a hobby farm. But our annual trip to the show was special.
We’d wander amongst the cows, feel their wet noses, rub their firm hides and wish we could steal the pats for the garden.
Dad would check out the bantam roosters, and drift off into dreams of his own father and the backyard chook pen in suburban Perth.
Mum and I – the ‘grown up girls’ – would eagerly inspect the wool fashion parade timetables, sneak in at an opportune moment, and revel in the glamour. Afterwards, we’d pick over the displays of graded wool, and rub the lanolin-coated fibres between our fingers.
The highlight was of course the wood-chopping. Blokes, singlets, axes, timber, poor quality sound system commentary. Loved it all.
Today my family of 5 is heading to the show. It’ll probably be a s**t-fight and it’ll probably cost us an arm and a leg. But that’s what memories are made of. And in a world where produce can appear further and further removed from its origins, I think it’s important that we meet the animals.
[image thanks to foxypar4 on flickr]