New president continues family links to A&P show

Matt and Riya Anderson are looking forward to this year's Kaikoura A&P Show. Photo: Supplied
Matt and Riya Anderson are looking forward to this year's Kaikoura A&P Show. Photo: Supplied
Matt Anderson made some unexpected finds when tidying up the family homestead for earthquake repairs.

This year's Kaikoura A&P Show president found his grandfather, a long-time exhibitor of Southdown and Romney sheep, had been remiss in not returning trophies he won at the show for the same Romney class in 1975 and 1984.

''I said at a committee member, 'I've found these old trophies that I'd better return' and we had a good giggle about it.

''Granddad used to have Southdown sheep and then changed to Romneys so there's a lot of old ribbons around.''

The 35-year-old said he was the first member of his family to serve on the show committee, but there had long been a family connection to the show - his grandfather exhibiting sheep, his mother and brother riding horses and the family running trade sites.

''The rest of my family have been quite heavily involved in the Kaikoura Trotting Club and I'm on the committee for that as well.''

He has been on the show committee for only five or six years and is looking forward to presiding over the annual show on Saturday, February 23. He will take over from Terri Chalmers, who ended up serving three years as president due to the November 2016 earthquake.

''It's an awesome wee committee and they work hard to get it done.

''And Terri has been an amazing support. It's normally a two-year term, but we managed to talk her into doing an extra year after we missed a year following the earthquake.''

Mr Anderson worked as a local agricultural contractor with his father, doing hay, baleage, drilling and cultivation, from the Clarence to the Conway and beyond.

''It's been a big year between the rains, but it's getting pretty dry now so it should quieten down a bit for the show.

''Last year it was dry early and then wet, so it was flat out around the time of the show.

''We've been contracting for about 15 years. We built it up from a baler and a tractor to a couple of balers and we do drilling, seeding and baleage.''

He bought the 80ha family farm and homestead with his parents a few years ago to run alongside the contracting business, using it mainly for baleage and dairy grazing and he was continuing his grandfather's Murray Grey cattle stud.

He now lived in the restored homestead with his wife, Riya.

''Riya and I were married in May last year and we spent the next six months in a caravan while the homestead was rebuilt.

''The caravan was inside a Totalspan shed so it meant we could stay on the farm.''

Mr Anderson said he was looking forward to show day.

''Apparently I've got to do a speech and choose the best trade exhibit. And Riya is from Thailand, so it will be her first A&P show.''

-By David Hill

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