President continuing family tradition

Malcolm Wyllie is looking forward to this year's Rangiora Show. Photo: David Hill
Malcolm Wyllie is looking forward to this year's Rangiora Show. Photo: David Hill
Malcolm Wyllie is the fourth Wyllie to serve as president of the Rangiora Show.

When Mr Wyllie presides over the Northern (Rangiora) A&P Association's 148th annual show on Saturday, October 26, he will be the third generation and fourth member of the Wyllie family to hold the top job.

He follows in the footsteps of his grandfather James Wyllie, who was president in 1939, and his father David Wyllie (1976). James Wyllie's brother John Wyllie was also president in 1944.

''My family were early settlers in Sefton and I'm the fourth generation in the area.''

After attending Rangiora High School, Mr Wyllie spent a year at the Telford Agricultural College in South Otago, before a stint working on a dairy farm on the West Coast.

He then came back to Sefton, where he worked for a local Friesian stud breeder, before returning to the home farm.

''It was a typical mixed farm in the early days, with half of the farm growing oats for the draught horses and later sheep and beef.''

The Wyllie family sold up and moved to Southland to a larger sheep farm in the late 1980s and early 1990s, before moving to Oxford for 12 years.

While there, Mr Wyllie ran a 200 sow pig farm at Fernside and worked on a dairy farm at Oxford.

He and his wife Rose then moved to Ashburton for eight years to manage some dairy conversions.

But Rangiora was always home and the couple moved back six years ago. He now works for Farmlands in Rangiora.

''Even when we were in Ashburton, Rangiora was still home, because we used local accountants and my parents were still living here,'' he said.

Mr Wyllie also works with PrimaryITO and has been a judge in the trainee category in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.

''I really love putting back into the community. I enjoy helping people get ahead in life in general and in farming in particular.''

He said the Rangiora Show had changed a lot over the years.

''In the 1970s they had pigs and other animals at the show and it's gone from being a total rural show to a largely urban show.''

He said Farmlands was organising a tent display aimed at lifestyle blocks, which reflected the changing nature of the rural sector in the Waimakariri district.

One thing that had not changed was the Rangiora Show had ''an awesome committee''.

''All shows are going through the same challenges of getting people through the gate and getting young ones interested.''

This year's show will have a youth focus, with junior stock judging once again replacing the cattle section, due to the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak.

The Rangiora Show is also hosting the FMG Young Farmer of the Year North Canterbury district contest and skills day, while young people will be featuring in a community concert and are helping with the farmyard nursery and in the shearing shed.

-By David Hill

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