Coffs Agricultural Show covers everything from prize chooks to bananas, working kelpies to fruitcakes

Barru Working Kelpies with Scott Amon.


FRUITCAKES to Chooks, Papercrafts to Woodchopping; The Coffs Show celebrated the diversity of the agricultural sector which has been alive across the world for generations.

With thousands of local visitors over the three-day event, exhibitors, competitors and organisers were pleased with the outcome, despite the weather raining off Sunday’s Demolition Derby and the FMX Kaos Freestyle Motorcycle stunt show.

Chief Steward Margaret Crawley, who worked tirelessly with the Show team, took to the microphone at the close of the day to thank the invaluable efforts of the volunteers, sponsors and supporters.

Beatties FurnitureAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us – [email protected]

“Without the supporters we wouldn’t have a show.

“And the ladies in the kitchen,” Margaret said of the helpful team making cuppas galore and sustaining the troops, “thank you, all so much.”

Next year’s show dates are 13– 15 May 2022.

Margaret made special mention of the demonstrations by the Snake Man from Reptile World who drew huge crowds.

She also noted, “It was absolutely marvellous to have members from government offices at the Show – we were lucky to get them.

“Thanks also to Trudy Smith the face painter and the Ambulance service, as well sheep dog trials, equestrian eventers, classic cars, the showgirls and fireworks.”

Margaret urged anyone interested in helping create future Coffs Shows to contact her and join the team which meets at Boambee Hall.

call Margaret Crawley on 0403 929 508.

Here’s a round-up of the high spots around the show.

There’s A Way To Working Kelpies

Barru Working Kelpies with demonstrations by Manager, Scott Amon, has been doing the local agricultural shows for well over a decade.

“The purpose is to show to the general public the value and talents of our national working dog, the Australian Kelpie,” said Scott.

“This year we saw a packed arena and viewing stand for every demonstration and the feedback from the public was heart-warming in regard to the pleasure we were told people took from our dogs and interaction and connection with them.

“A special thanks of course to Highgrove Bathrooms (Isle Drive, Coffs Harbour) for sponsoring our attendance of the Coffs Show – which we think is a true reflection of what this great region was built on – agriculture.”

Tasty Bananas

Jeff Eggins, President of The Coffs Harbour & District Banana Growers Association told News Of The Area, “It was a bit of a quiet show this year but for our purposes of connecting with the general public and getting their feedback it was really good.

“We had to convince people we were giving away bananas for free but once they chose their banana we were keen to get their preferences from the different varieties.

“The favourite banana was the same as every year – the Cavendish, and we had lots of enthusiastic reviews about the little Ducasse banana.

“It’s been around for about ten years and while the supermarkets don’t stock this variety, people can buy them at the Growers Markets which is good for these local businesses.

“We had a special visitor – Kevin Hogan – the Member for Page.

“Towards the end of the day on Sunday we still had lots of ripe bananas available, so we said to people to take a handful and get baking some banana bread.

“This is the only Agricultural Show the BGA attends because Coffs is our immediate area.

“I’d like to see the show promoted more widely in the future to get the numbers back up and to have the blueberry growers involved too.”

Wood Block Choppers

Peter Shipman, judge and wood supplier said, “The Woodchoppers events went fairly well considering most of the choppers haven’t competed for some time because of the present (COVID) situation but shows and events are starting to kick off again.

The North Coast Axemen’s Association competed throughout the day in the wood chopping arena.

“All feedback from the audience was very positive.

“People are very pleased that we are back in action.

“All the contestants were fairly happy with the day apart from it being a little wet under foot, they were grateful that it didn’t rain on the day.

“High points of the day were from two competitors mainly Andrew Moran winning two events and Dan Shipman coming from a back mark of 59 seconds to win the 12-inch or 300ml standing block chop, then winning the championship event where all axmen start on the count of three.

“The next event we will be holding will be at the Bellingen Show next weekend from May 8 – 9 May.”

Coffs Harbour Creative Arts Group

“The Coffs Harbour Creative Group was very glad to see the Coffs Harbour Show return after 2020’s COVID interruption, and it seems the community was too, with over 180 visitors to the Showground Gallery’s art display, despite the often-rainy weather,” said Isabella Brandli.

“The art section is open to everyone in the community, along with members of the Coffs Harbour Creative Arts Group, including the Coffs Calligraphers, and the Coffs Coast Printmakers submitting works.

“It was quite a challenge to hang so many artworks in the Gallery space, and we thank the Exhibition Committee, the judges (Helen Goldsmith and David Bromley), and all the sponsors for helping to make the Coffs Harbour Show Art Exhibition a success.

“Overall, the volunteers in attendance enjoyed excellent feedback from the visitors to the art exhibition with many positive comments shared over the two days.

“People’s Choice was won by well-known local artist Jim Tozer for his painting, ‘Old Church at Tarana’.

“We’re very much looking forward to an even bigger and brighter 2022 Coffs Harbour Show with another fabulous array of local artistic talent on show.”

All About Orchids

Coffs Harbour Orchid Society presented a general display of orchids including some prize-winners from recent competitions.

Bruce Hall, Treasurer of The Orchid Society said, “The purpose of our display at Coffs Show was a promotion, to pique the interest of potential new members.”

Judy Whiting, Committee member added, “You meet incredible people.
“It’s such a great activity, and it’s addictive.”

“You just can’t have one orchid,” Bruce corroborated.

“We showed a very nice display of orchids and received quite a deal of interest from the public curious about the many and different types and colour range of plants on display.

“All in all, a very nice display in the promotion of growing orchids for the general public.”

One For The Birds

Aaron Frewin, President of the Coffs Harbour and Districts Poultry Club said, “We had over 200 entries and a lot of new local breeders exhibited for the first time.”

T & K McCusker got Bird of Show with a pekin bantam (female).

“We had the largest number of silver pencilled wyandottes that I’ve ever seen at any show, and a good range of breeds.

“Great to see the Ag Show up and running again.”

Poultry was sponsored by The Paper Boys, the Coffs Harbour hospitality and office supplies business for 20+ years.

Beryl Rigden, co-owner of the Paper Boys said, “We have a close connection and affection for the chooks.

“My grandfather, Ben Donn-Patterson and my father, Bill Donn-Patterson were both Showbird enthusiasts,” said Beryl.

Aaron added, “My grandfather was mates with Bill, whose house I had visited a bit when I was very young, a lovely man, with a massive poultry collection.

“I’ve never been to another yard that had as many.”

Getting Crafty

Debbie Collins, member of the Craft Group and a consultant for papercraft company Stampin’ Up, said she chatted to a lot of people in the Exhibition Hall who said they were inspired to ‘get back into’ crafts.

The Paper Crafts and Mixed Media Crafts include making specialist gift cards, decorative journals and scrapbooks.

“When they are given handmade crafts, people keep them as they are too lovely to throw away.

“I make my cards with loose inserts so people can regift them.”

Debbie was the winner of the title Papercraft Grand Champion – Papercraft Cards.

Her winning card was a box card which she said, “took quite a few hours to put together.”

Margaret Crawley won 1st prize in both the Mixed Media and Journals categories.

“All the pieces in these categories are made from scratch – you gotta get down and dirty,” Margaret said.

“You begin by working out what you’re going to design and then use anything from the toolkit such as stencils, moulds, little metal cogs, a household nail.

“I’m like a magpie collecting all the bits and pieces, even squashing down bottle tops and getting creative.

“We use paints, waxes and all sorts of things.”

Alpaca Petting and Products

Alpacas from the South Queensland & Northern NSW (SQNNSW) Region of the Australian Alpaca Association were set up in a ‘meet ‘n’ greet’ pen where visitors could pet them and chat with the team from the Association.

Pauline Glasser, President of the QNNSW group said, “Our purpose here is educational.

“Introducing people to alpacas and explaining the difference between them and their close cousin, the llama.

“We’re educating people about the industry and promoting our Australian-made alpaca products such as felt hats, beanies, shawls, rugs and gloves.

“Australia has the biggest herd of alpacas outside of South America, and before New Zealand.”

Pauline and her husband Colin farm out of their stud at Wahgungurry in Grafton and find the Coffs Show really useful for sharing their message and work.



Leave a Reply