Ag day provides taste of country life

Melia Meissenheimer with her winning kid, Sparkles. Lamb Honey’s sweet nature made her a favourite with the Collins children who came to Ag Day to see the animals. The youngest Collins, Nicola, was a particular fan. Swandri shirts were shared by Yoda the lamb and owner Zahara Patterson. Goats enjoyed trying to eat the pen, and even break free from the judging ring. Calves were judged on obedience, and the owner’s knowledge. Items for sale had a Kiwiana or rural flavour and included recycled timber products.

Families from all over the district came to enjoy Wainui School’s annual AG Day and Country Fair, held on Friday, October 21.

Many were from more urban parts of the Hibiscus Coast, and came along specifically to give their children a taste of country life.

Farm animals were everywhere, with dozens of hand reared lambs as well as kids and calves and chickens brought in for judging.

Market stalls included a wide range of food, homemade cakes, jewellery, handicrafts and clothing.

Ag Day, traditionally known as Calf Club day, has been going since the early 1950s as a way to share the crafts of the rural community with others and for the farmers to compete for ribbons and trophies.

Principal Gillian Bray says that the school has a significant amount of silverware (cups) donated by past families that are presented on the day.

Wainui School introduced raising chicks as a way of involving families who do not have farm animals and this has proved very popular.

The traditional classroom arts and crafts, sand saucers, cake decorating and so on now incorporate the theme of sustainability and conservation.

In the last few years Wainui has added market stalls, increased the café and added children’s games and pony rides to bring a festive country market atmosphere to the day.

This year fine weather resulted in a wonderful turnout of visitors as well as increased numbers of animals. In total the event raised $5400, which will go towards keeping the level of Teacher Aide support high in classes, as well as helping fund technology such as iPads, Chromebooks and laptops.