ANOTHER successful Cobargo Show brought out the best of the district’s produce, rural skills and horsemanship.
But it was no surprise that the dryness of the land resulting from recent heat and lack of rain was a common conversation among spectators and competitors.
Weather even played a role in attendance as numbers were up 120 people on Saturday but down 140 on the hotter Sunday, with organisers attributing at least some of that to the stifling weather.
Tilba dairy farmer and producer Erica Dibden described current on-farm conditions as terrible.
“We usually see some rain by the time of the Cobargo Show, which has broken the drought in past years, but not this year,” she said.
“The current drought has kind of snuck up on everyone as only two months ago things were looking good at Tilba but with no rain and the hot winds everything has dried out really quickly.”
Many farmers have already had to buy in feed that was at a premium because of widespread drought throughout Australia and unless rain fell soon stockowners many would be in serious trouble.
It was much worse out west for farmers who were being forced to sell off even breeding stock, she said.
The Dibens at Tilba were fortunate to have silage left but unless it rained by April their crop of corn would fail wiping out six months of feed.
Cobargo Show society president Kevin Allen commiserated with all the farmers but noted despite parched conditions said the dairy and beef livestock were again presented for judging in record numbers and were in “great order”.
He praised everyone involved in putting on the show, singling out the younger members of the committee who had worked so hard.
“It was another super show and it was great to see the younger generations getting involved - our future is in good hands,” he said.
It was however an older member and recent Order of Australia recipient Beryl Schaefer, widely known for her tireless work for the Royal Agricultural Society, the Country Women’s Association and Landcare, who officially opened the show on Saturday.
She told the crowd about her first experience at the Cobargo Show when she was a little girl, her memories of the big crowds and how her mother wore green frock and hat that stood out allowing her to keep track of her.
Ice creams from the Dalmeny Ice Creams a Plenty van were a popular item as temperatures on Sunday climbed well past 30 degrees.
Despite the recent dry conditions, the Champion Agricultural Exhibit of this year’s show was a record - a 163kg pumpkin grown by Graham Parr, a member of the show committee.
He was very pleased with his biggest pumpkin ever and his secret was to plant his pumpkin patch in the ashes of last year’s garden burn pile.
He needed a forklift to get to the agricultural pavilion and plans to take to the upcoming Bega Show.
Little Camryn Pratt was named Tiny Tot of the Show at this year’s Cobargo Show, another win for Wendy Rugendyke of Bermagui and her family who had previously won.
Show president Kevin Allen said highlights for him were obviously the rodeo and bull riding that kept the large crowd entertained late Sunday afternoon as things finally cooled down.
He said the sheep shearing demonstration, new to the show this year, led by Neil Lynch of Cooma, captivated everyone on Sunday morning.
Legendary horseman Wade Mathie of Bodalla and his team also provided another entertaining show, including riding the big Brahman steer, riding horses without reigns and even laying down a horse while cracking a whip to demonstrate trust.