The National goes local
IT'S showtime, and this year the North Coast National will be a celebration of local life.
From creations by local chefs to work by local artists, produce, photography and horticulture; the magnificent Northern Rivers lifestyle will be embraced next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Traditional favourites including sideshows, the baking show, showgirl competition, showbags and cattle and poultry competitions will be bigger and better than ever.
President John Gibson said with hundreds of exhibitors and packed trade pavilions, this year's show will feature something for all ages.
"We have got the biggest show outside the Sydney Royal in NSW," he said.
Mr Gibson said without volunteers and sponsors, the spectacular that is the National would not be possible.
At 63 tonnes and 33m high, the largest travelling Ferris wheel in the southern hemisphere will be a highlight. It features 8500 lights and offers spectacular views from its 20 octagonal carriages.
Live at the Shed will feature music and performances from schoolchildren and local acts, including The Re-Mains and Diana Anaid, broadcast on the solar-powered Sunflower PA.
After a successful 2012 debut, CSG Idol returns on Saturday night with a new reverse gong format where audience response determines whether a performer gets to ring the gong.
Organiser John McPherson said the idea was about performers ringing the gong on the CSG industry.
"It is dedicated to keeping CSG prominent in the local consciousness and to supporting the show society in return for the support the society has shown the CSG Free movement," he said.
A few places still remain for Idol, phone Mr McPherson on 0447 458 012 to enter.
NORCO Co-operative Limited is a major sponsor of both the Dairy Spectacular and North Coast National Show for 2013.
As co-operative secretary, Mark Myers co-ordinates Norco's corporate sponsorship activities.
Mr Myers said the North Coast National Show was an iconic event and Norco was an iconic co-operative that had been in business since 1895. The Norco executive highlighted the "significant role, both historically and at the present time, that the dairy industry plays in the Lismore and surrounding regions".
"The Dairy Spectacular gives people from all walks of life the opportunity to see wonderful dairy cattle and to talk to dairy farmers and make the very important connection about where one of the staples of life, being milk, comes from.
"It is also a chance for Norco, through our sponsorship, to thank the regional community for their continued support over many generations, whether that is by purchasing Norco Milk, shopping at our rural stores or purchasing bulk feeds from the Goldmix mill".
THE North Coast National Dairy Spectacular is a dairy cattle exhibition held over two days: Tuesday and Wednesday, October 15 and 16 at the Lismore Showgrounds.
With the event growing in popularity over the past couple of years, exhibitors have come from the Darling Downs in Queensland to Dondingalong on the NSW Mid North Coast.
"This year we are hoping for the outside support again as well as our regular local exhibitors," said organiser Noela Wyatt.
As an experienced artificial breeder, Mrs Wyatt and husband Dwight are the engine behind the two-day event.
The main activity is the competition, with six breeds of dairy cattle parading before the judges.
Brad 'Berry' Gavenlock will be adjudicating in the Jersey ring, while Graeme Hopf will be overseeing the Ayrshire and Guernsey.
Wes Brown, from Tamworth, has the job of placing the Holsteins and the Interbreed classes.
On Tuesday, October15, judging will start at 9.30am with the Junior Heifer section, where heifers compete in age classes up to two years.
"Then the champion of each breed will compete against each other for the Supreme Champion Junior Heifer of the show which is sponsored by WFI," Mrs Wyatt said.
Once the heifers have been judged, it will be the Youth Show's time.
In the Youth Show, the children will get judged on their showmanship skills of parading a dairy heifer.
Then there is a Junior Judging Competition where the children get to judge two groups of four dairy cows.
On Wednesday, October 16, judging starts at 9am with the Intermediate classes, where the cows are between two and three years old.
"These can be heifers that are in calf or cows that have had their first calf and are milking," Mrs Wyatt explained.
These classes are followed by the cow classes, over three years old.
At the conclusion of the individual breed judging, Wes Brown will have the honour of judging the Interbreed classes where the Supreme Exhibit for each section will be awarded.
The top award of the show is The Supreme Champion Dairy Cow of Show.
The garland for this top award will be presented by Chris Sharpe of Richmond Dairies along with $300 in prize money.
Other special awards on the day will be the Robert James Dickinson Gold Cup for the Champion Jersey Cow.
"This is a great social outing for retired and current dairy farmers or anyone of any age that would like to feel a bit of the country spirit, that is a part of our community. It is free entry and a canteen runs both days," Mrs Wyatt said.
This year will be the inaugural presentation of the Ken Northfield Memorial Trophy for the Supreme Champion Holstein exhibit.
This is to honour Ken's dedication to the Holstein breed in the dairy industry.
Ken Northfield was chief steward at the North Coast National Dairy Section for several years as well as volunteering many years for the North Coast National Agricultural and Industrial Society.