Town meets country at the annual Whangārei A&P Show at Barge Park, Whangārei on December 7.
Whangārei Agricultural & Pastoral Society chief executive Chris Mason says the show is a chance to see the care and pride that farmers take in their animals.
"There has been a lot of negative press around farming recently and I don't believe farmers deserve it. Caring for their land and their animals is in their interest because it is their livelihood,'' she says.
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"The show is a chance to celebrate farming."
Chris says the dairy goats' section has been reintroduced for the first time in more than a decade with 48 animals entered from as far south as Hamilton.
Northland dairy goat breeders have revived the Far North Goat Club recently and asked the show to reinstate the dairy goat classes.
Club secretary-treasurer Teresa Atkins, owner of Highbrook Hill at Waipu, says dairy goats are enjoying more popularity among lifestyle block owners who are seeking different options to "a sheep and a cow".
She says dairy goats are a great option as they provide a prolific amount of nutritious milk which is more easily tolerated by people who are lactose intolerant.
"The notion of a goat chained up on the side of the road to an A frame is outdated as regulations have stopped this old practice.
Watching sheep not for the faint hearted
"Goats are great gorse munchers, and the main tips for looking after them is a four-wire electric fence, regular hoof trimming and worming, and warm shelter as they have no resistance to cold and wet conditions.
"They are real characters and are very intelligent. As herd animals, there needs to be more than one animal and I find they are very family oriented and will even stay in family groups within the herd,'' she says.
Teresa has developed products under her Highbrook Hill brand, including soap and healing balms from goats' milk combined with honey and wax from her beehives.
Club members plan a stall of goat products, and members of the public can ask about dairy goats and how to milk them.
All the dairy breeds will be on show, including two of the new Nigerian Dwarf goats which are "super cute". There will also be animals of all ages, including kids.
As well as the more serious show classes around milk production and best udder will be fun competitions including an obstacle course and fancy dress.
About 120 sheep have been entered in competitions, from about 16 different breeds.
The new Beltex sheep breed will also be represented at the show for the first time. It was brought into New Zealand in 2017 and is an offshoot of the Texel breed.
The exciting new breed has been attracting a lot of interest from sheep farmers wanting to generate more income. Its special double-muscling trait makes a higher yield of meat possible.
There will also be alpacas, and dairy and beef cattle strutting their stuff, Chris says.
The equestrian section has attracted more than 340 entries, with the competition running over two days.
She says all the 16 judges are from outside the region, with some from as far south as Christchurch.
The show is open to the public on Saturday, December 7 with tickets selling for $10 per adult and $5 for schoolchildren. Under fives are free.
"There is lots of free stuff including pony rides and a treasure hunt. It's a great day out for all of the family and, once inside the gates, there are a heap of things to see and do at no extra cost. The bouncy castle does cost $10 for a ticket but that lasts all day,'' Chris says.
National TV What Now presenter Chris Kirk will be visiting the show. Chris, who fronts the much-loved Sunday morning programme, will be roving around at the show, meeting, greeting and taking photos with the general public.
Gates open at 9am and the show runs until 4.30pm.