After enjoying our local show a few weeks ago I was talking to a group of farmers who were glad that shows were back.
We had been suffering here in QLD with government mandates that had caused the cancellation and postponement of many shows.
Other states had been luckier and got back into the swing of things earlier and NSW poultry and agricultural shows have been going great guns, including Sydney Royal.
I was also asked by a city visitor why people attend and turn out in great numbers to their local agricultural show.
In regard to poultry and other livestock it is about getting your stock out and seeing how the breeding program is going in a competitive situation.
It is more than just showing stock, shows have a social and educational aspect too.
The local show is a tradition that in many cases is over a hundred years old and the prime event of the calendar.
For those living in isolated places it is a chance to get out and socialise.
People travel hundreds of kilometres and it has to be more than a couple of chooks to show!
In a poultry shed the educational and networking aspects are important.
Newcomers, who are prepared to ask questions and listen to the answers, can learn a lot of information very quickly.
From experience they can also end up with a couple of birds for the trip home.
Shows also offer a chance to exchange birds, swap information and argue about the quality of the judging.
The side you take in this is determined by the position of your birds.
Whatever your view you have plenty of time to look around at the competition and assess where your breeding program is.
Sometimes there is more entertainment in the discussion than down show alley or in the ubiquitous showbag that every child has to have.
These shows are inevitably run by a group of volunteers who give of their time for the community and enjoy the show anyway.
The heart of the show is the community spirit and it is the same with a poultry show, usually held at a showground anyway.
Shows give the opportunity for those 'city-dwellers' to get an insight into the world of agriculture and see things they've never experienced.
I asked the local show president what motivated her to keep working each year and I was directed to the screaming children on the dodgem cars.
She said it was the community getting together and having fun.
This is why people come to shows and I for one am glad they're back.
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