When it comes to the New Zealand Agricultural Show, few names resonate as much as Richard Lemon's. With a lifelong commitment to the show and an undying passion for the rural sector, Lemon's dedication to bridging the urban-rural divide is as inspiring as it is crucial in today's rapidly evolving society.
A fourth-generation farmer from Mid Canterbury, Richard Lemon is a well-known figure in the agricultural show community. His rich journey from attending shows as a child to serving as the president of the Canterbury A&P Association and receiving a Queen's Service Medal (QSM) for his services to the rural sector offers a fascinating perspective on the magic of the New Zealand Agricultural Show.
Lemon told REX host Dominic George the show aims to connect urban people with rural life, as seamlessly as possible.
"I think the main thing that we're trying to do with this show is to be urban-orientated, where it's a great opportunity for the younger urban people to have that first experience working or seeing and touching and evolving with animals," he said.
His passion for bringing the rural world to urban audiences and promoting an understanding of agriculture is a constant theme throughout his narrative.
For Lemon, the Agricultural Show serves a significant role beyond just showcasing the best of Canterbury's animals.
"It's about us bringing the country to town, really."
His words reflect a deeper mission - the importance of connecting urban audiences to the rural sector, demystifying agricultural processes, and fostering an appreciation for where their food comes from.
One of the crucial aspects of the show, according to Lemon, is its educational role.
"The more that we can get the younger urban generation interested and have a base knowledge of what the agricultural industry is about and how we look after animals and how we rear them, I think that is the biggest thrill that I can get out of showing."
Lemon's journey and insights highlight the vitality of the New Zealand Agricultural Show, its evolution over time, and the crucial role it plays in preserving rural traditions while educating and engaging urban communities.
"We're just trying to bring our little bit to help the urban people understand what we're doing."
So why not take a step closer to the country, immerse yourself in the magic of the Agricultural Show, and deepen your understanding of the fascinating world of agriculture?
Listen to the full chat between Richard Lemon and Dominic George above.