I have been attending and competing with my horses at A & P shows around Southland for as long as I can remember. So I was thrilled when I was named 2019 Youth Ambassador for Southland A & P. I have attended the show from when it was at the Victoria Ave show grounds, Racecourse Road and more recently when it moved to Donovan. It was obvious there was a keen hard working committee motivated to grow the show and I was keen to jump on board to help this.
A & P shows are a great place to make new friends and for communities to get together with their families. The shows offer something for everyone to enter in as exhibitors. This can be from baking, vegetable growing to exhibiting livestock.
There is always entertainment available for all ages along with great food and trade exhibits to look at as well as the livestock and produce exhibits.
I personally have always enjoyed attending the Southland A & P show and especially like having the show jumping over 2 days which will hopefully one day develop to competition for all sections over 2 days. We are extremely lucky to have the great grounds at Donovan and with the welcoming and innovative hard working committee it will be exciting to see what happens in
2018 Winner Nicole Sharp
My real involvement with A & P Shows started in my previous job as a rural reporter, covering various shows throughout Otago and Southland. I’ve always loved attending but looking at the shows from a different perspective in my job I was always impressed by the connectivity they provide between rural and urban. This was what made me put my name forward for Youth Ambassador. Southland show was one that stood out to me because being held in Invercargill it really demonstrates bringing the country to town. It was always evident to me in my job that we needed to do more to increase the understanding about what happens in agriculture in the cities and seeing how many people attended last year’s Southland show I believe we are on the right track. To work with like-minded people who are also incredibly passionate about sharing this story is incredibly fulfilling and I have learnt a lot of other skills in the process. It’s not only about what you learn but the people you meet. We are so lucky to have a show like Southland in our region and my message to anyone thinking about getting involved would be to do it! There are so many young people involved too, and putting your name forward for youth ambassador is a one of a kind way of getting involved if you are passionate about the show or even just agriculture or wood chopping or even baking!
Georgie is our Equestrian Marshall and is also on our Executive Committee and was our Youth Ambassador in 2017. You might also see Georgie in the ring at other A&P shows as a Grade 3 Equestrian Judge.
Georgie first became involved in the A&P showing movement when she was just three years old riding ponies in the show ring; continuing a very long
standing family involvement with A&P Shows.
Georgie says that her favourite aspect of the show is working with a fantastic team of volunteers who share a passion for the A&P movement & the continual growth of the Southland A&P Association. Another great highlight is seeing exhibitors, officials & the community getting so much enjoyment out of the event we have put on.
To me, being part of the RAS is not just about helping our local show run and organise a wonderful event. It’s about being part of a greater cause that thrives on bringing the country to the town. I feel proud to be part of an organisation that promotes our agricultural industry and the incredible effort and knowledge that goes into breeding outstanding animals.
The show is not just about the animals though, it’s a chance for horticulturalists , business owners, food connoisseur’s , entertainers and so much more to proudly showcase their products and services.
The reason I put my name forward to be the youth ambassador was to give back to those who have run the show for so many years whilst introducing new ideas to keep the show evolving with the times.
I have so many favourite memories from the A&P shows over the years from riding with friends , being blown away by the quality of sheep/cattle but I think most importantly seeing both town and country communities come together for a day (or two) of family fun.
I would highly recommend applying for the Youth Ambassador role , it gives you a true appreciation of all the hard work that goes into making a show like this happen but also opens you up to future opportunities. The chance to visit our sister show in Dubbo Australia is a once in a lifetime experience and will ignite your creative thinking! You get the opportunity to put your own twist on the show and the committee are extremely open to new ideas. What have you got to loose ?
What it it about A&P shows that you love?
I love the variety that the shows hold. There is always something new to see. It is also great seeing the beautiful animals that people produce for shows and because of this the competition standard is always high. Everyone has their own goals that they set for each show and it is awesome to see these being achieved at and A&P show.
What do you most enjoy about the Southland A&P Association?
The Southland A&P committee have been so welcoming from day one. My ideas were always accepted positively and I was given the chance to contribute more to the show each year while learning the ropes from the supportive people around me. They make you feel like a valuable part of the team and I am very thankful for this. Offering the Youth Ambassador is a fantastic way to get younger people involved in A&Ps so thank you John and Joyce Robins for this.
Why did you join?
I have competed at the Southland A&P since I was a child and it was always a favourite show, especially as it went over two days. I decided to take part in the Youth Ambassador competition to give back to the A&P and help them plan for shows as I have gotten so much out of competing at the show over the years. Being on the other side of the show on a committee rather than just being a competitor is just as rewarding. I love seeing the hard work and efforts being enjoyed by other people.
What is your favourite memory of the shows?
My favourite memory of the shows is the lifelong friendships that are made with the people that you compete with. There is always highs and lows in the competition world and it is great having these friends to share the memories with.
Sarah was our 2013 Youth Ambassador winner- Here is a little about Sarah and why she is so passionate about the A&P movement.
I become involved with A&P Shows before I can even remember-they have been a huge part of my life and there hasn’t been a summer where I haven’t been involved in not only the Southland A&P Show but other shows within the Southland circuit in one way or another. Obviously it was the Equestrian side of things that introduced me to A&P Shows-I first competed at the Southland A&P Show in the Lead Rein section in 1994, and haven’t missed one yet. My grandparents bred Riding Ponies so it has been ingrained in me from day dot-looking back that’s every little girls dream, to be riding a pretty pony at the local show, how lucky, even if some days it was the pony’s first time out and things were a bit hairy! Being on the Southland A&P Committee isn’t just all horses, there is so much more to a show-the trade, other livestock sections, sponsorship and all other general logistics of running an event all is enveloped by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. Being part of putting on a good show is rewarding. The aspect of bringing country to town, and the gathering of the local communities. Even though the A&P Shows have got smaller over time, it is still a great day out, and there is something for everyone. Since becoming Youth Ambassador I have been to our associate show in Dubbo three times and made great friends whilst bringing back concepts to integrate into our own show. The Dubbo crew run an incredible show, and the people on their committee are all hands on deck, working together to produce an amazing three days. The Youth Ambassador concept is fabulous, a way to keep the committee fresh, you don’t need to ride horses or show sheep-just have an interest and want to be involved within the A&P, most definitely nothing to lose!