By AMANDA BOWES
This year’s Amuri A&P Show presidents, Hamish Macfarlane and his wife Sue, are ready and eagerly anticipating their annual show on March 4.
The couple, who farm in Rotherham and Waiau with breeding and finishing properties, have had a long association with the show and despite the continuing shakes are putting their all into making the day a success.
Their two daughters attend the University of Canterbury where the oldest, Kate, is finishing the newly developed Food Marketing and Agribusiness degree, while Bridget is in her third year of a degree in Landscape Architecture.
Hamish has lived in the area all his life and says the day is a very special one when the whole community gets together for a day out.
“It is a really important day. The whole community puts in a lot of work to bring the show together. We are really lucky.”
He says whenever he has asked someone to do something, or fill in a gap, there has never been a refusal.
One of Hamish’s tasks is to bring some different entertainment to the show and this year he has chosen an animal related theme – working ones. The New Zealand police will have a demonstration of their police dogs.
Hamish says they last had a demonstration 20 years ago at the show, so he is really looking forward to seeing the dogs put through their paces.
The Brackenfield Hunt has been organised to bring their working hounds and working horses are also featured, with Hugh Ensor bringing his Clydesdales to the show for a ploughing demonstration.
Being president is an honour and Hamish acknowledges the massive input from his wife Sue. “She does a lot more work than me.”
Putting together a show incurs a large financial input that entry fees don’t cover and the gift lamb and gift calves help keep the show solvent.
Hamish has been involved with organising the gift lamb for many years and says with the increase in dairy, gift lamb numbers have dropped compared to 20 years ago.
“The flip side to that is that dairy farmers are raising calves for the weaned gift calf competition. Last year the proceeds from that were around $19,000, so make a huge contribution to the show.”
Hamish says while you think you are ready for the job as president, when it comes to your turn at the helm they have a saying – “each one is flying blind!”