This article originally appeared on TheBugleonline.com.au
In an Australian first, the youth of the local Show movement are overcoming their disappointment at the cancellation of most of this year’s agricultural shows by putting on a virtual one.
The South Coast & Tablelands Youth in Ag Movement, which covers show societies bounded by Milton to the south, Moss Vale to the west and Camden to the north, is organising the event, which is now open for entries.
Ryan McParland, whose family raise commercial beef cattle on land off Jamberoo’s Factory Lane, is one of the organisers.
He comes from a long line of dairy farmers based at Croom, which means he maintains family ties with the Albion Park Show Society.
“Four generations of our family have showed, so you can definately say it is in my blood,” he says.
He says the idea for an Online Show was conceived at a Youth in Ag meeting in February.
“It started off small, but it mushroomed, particularly after the cancellation of the Sydney Royal.
“Some Sydney Show judges have told me it’s a great idea.
“People still have animals they want to show to learn from the judges, and then the pavilion entries deserve to be admired.
“It is all about having fun, while learning more about your own exhibits and those of other show enthusiasts.”
Entry is open to all Australian residents, no matter where they live, so the competition will be stiff.
Entries are invited in a full variety of sections – from dairy and beef cattle, horses, poultry and other livestock; to the traditional pavilion exhibits of baking, garden produce, handicraft and photography.
With no cost to enter, bragging rights are the only prizes.
An innovative Show Sports section is calling for entries of tutorial videos for competing in events such as woodchop, shearing and sheep dog trials.
The Pet Show, always a crowd favourite, also calls for 60 second videos of the entries.
There is even an essay writing section, featuring various topics and styles.
Of course as Show wouldn’t be a Show without a Grand Parade, and a virtual one of those is being planned too!
Each section will be judged by two to four experienced and provisional judges from the South Coast or ones who are involved in the Rural Achiever and Junior Judging Programs at the Sydney Royal Show.
“We are trying to keep the spirit of Australia’s agricultural shows alive in this time of isolation,” says Ryan.
“Anyone can enter, no matter their age or experience.
“It’s going to be great to get more people involved.”
Once people express an interest in entering an exhibit in a particular class of a section, they will be sent a link to a google drive folder for uploading their entries.
Details: The Schedule for the Online Show is available at www.kiamashow.com.au
Entries close Friday 15 May, with results announced Saturday 23 May. There is also an Online Show 2020 group on Facebook.