! / -By the-Plains Farmer
Having attended ' the 'Ashburton] exhibition ,of stock,; farm/prod-uce,- &c., I was surprised : arid • disappointed in not seeing the district betffif ■'represented, especially iri ; sheep' 'arid ‘cattle. Messrs. Wilkin and Carter’s position was anything-„but an,,, cnyiable} one ( in taking the tjil prizes dndlbng: wool sheep where there was .no cqm,petition. I quite agree, with. Mr. Grigg’s renparks- ithat,-in .as district like Ashburton, where there are only one,or two large breeders, whose stock had been prepared for show, and who for a' long while: ,’nave hp.d opportunities of com paring ..them with, the .best stock iri New Zealand, such .men should, refrain ; from 5 showing much in the .local -sjfp.vyp : seeing that .small farmers, and those;* .who are'brily just beginning to stqck, .Would; have rib chanceAvhile,.,thq laf'breedeVs were' found; "exhibiting in every class. But' if tire s 'Ashburton Agricultural 1 and Pastoral ’Association would ' be' A general - benefit to the district, emulation must be encouraged amongst the, masses..; of .-small farmers. If the whole district could be induced to compete, some in one class and some in another, then we should soon have a good show. Any practical man; would rather see .a large ,cofripelitibn, in every 1 class, ; although*' the exhibits might not be.,of such,a high.character,, than'see But / brie name, .catalogued' in every class. The mpsf plegsing-.feature; in any annual show is the marked improvement r whiph,-takesf place both in quantity .and quality. . Some - men will say-that nothing; but the 'best animals should be brought toA'shpW,* while it is notHipl’brif epmpansbri tjiat mrikes the difference Between'good and bad ; and if all the- farmers in the district could be induced to bring something" of the best’they'had, we might soon expect to see great-improvement in-the quality. But it will be many years' before;such a general competition will he seen in this newtdistrict, fe^iecial jy if twb) pf tliree' large farmers who have had greater advantages for obtaining good ; stock, continue to monopolise. ; But’ Tam'hot quite satisfied as to the advisableness of supporting local shows, now that we .have such .an . exhibition as’ the .Metfbpplitan.. at, Ghristchiirch/made accessible to all parties, and where.>may-.ib:e,- seen the best of everything; which we should all endeavor to propogate. Would it not be •a greater benefit to the district if the Ashburton Agricultural -and" Pastoral .Association were to form'-itself into a Farmers’ Club, after the manner of a' joint slock company, 1 which is the case in some parts of; England/ and instead of expending the funds in holding petty shows; r th© money riiight be ; spent in procuring the best breeding animals that could be got. These animals might be kept in different Idealities’ by members of the,club,,and at g. certain price. shouldffiC acceSsißle'to all,'which would greatly tend to improve the general stock "of the district. Such a club, properly managed, would’ pot only be a local, but a national 'benefit, arid would'enable 1 the' district to cornpete Isuccessfully in any of the latger shows.If such clubs were formed in different districts, there 1 might' be' ’ migratory shows among themselves'. Such- farmers’ : - clubs have'’Been very successful and beneficial in England. I waspyell acquainted with.the working of IBe-Probus; Eatmers’, GlußilGernwall,; and such was the excellence of the stock.kept and bred by that;Glub' that they frequently Took first' prizes, not only in the Cornwall, but':iH‘ lhe' Bath .and West; df .Englriridi; 'and .Royai; Agriculturar Shows." ’ X.see rip .reason why "the Ashburton 'tanners’ Club might npt become eminent and suceesful, riot pnlyfin improving fife-breed' of farm stock, etc., but also be. themeans of improving and elevating the minds of our young men, who.; for- the wxint of something better,'-afe too much engaged: nv-ith petty amilferirCuts.• - I .would like to see them, .using every [means within their reach to make themselves - fully ■ acquainted with all ' the points wrrd-• peculiarities ’of the best breedirig stdckrefall dekirr'ptibris; 1 and; aiming; at rising to tfic standard of a thorpugh'ly /good , far m.er. ’/[B ut I his. will, never be'the case unless they are attended tq while young. yj s j-f , ; . - r
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