By Karlene Skretting
Westwind Weekly News
Do you regularly enter Bench Shows and want a leg up on the competition? Are you interested in learning the standards and criteria to be a Bench Show judge in Alberta? Or are you new to Bench Shows and just want a better understanding of how you can enter and participate in Raymond’s annual Fall Fair?
Whatever your motivation and level of knowledge, the Raymond Ag Society will have the answers on April 18 during their Exhibitors and Judges Workshop.
The event will kick off at 9 a.m. sharp at the big red barn in Raymond and wrap up at 4 p.m. There is a $10 fee per person but that will cover lunch on Saturday.
“A lot of people have asked us to put on a course so that they know how to properly present their entries” during our annual Fall Fair Bench Show, shared Pam Stewart, Raymond Ag Society treasurer, as to why the event is taking place.
The Exhibitors and Judges Workshop will teach participants to properly prepare and present their entries, provide insight into what judges look for, and go over criteria in different categories.
Samples of entries will also be on hand to provide visual learning opportunities and foster discussions.
“We have a lot of people that enter the Fall Fair and a lot of them aren’t aware of the judging standards or what we judge by,” said Stewart. Adding that little things matter, such as the amount of a stem left on fruit and vegetable entries.
Knowledgeable guest judges will be on hand to discuss common entry categories. This includes Edith Svanes (crafts and baking), Gary Drake (photography) and Andy Krajewski (vegetables and flowers).
The knowledge shared at the event will allow individuals to confidently enter items into any judged Bench Shows or Fall Fairs that other Ag societies host in Alberta, added Stewart, noting that the standards and criteria are the same across the province.
Raymond’s Fall Fair Bench Show is big with the youth, the largest number of entries received in the last few years has been in kid’s categories, said Stewart. In the adult categories, photography entries are the most prominent, with baking, horticulture and preserves also being popular categories.
The event “will also hopefully encourage more people to get involved with the Fall Fair.”
The event isn’t just for those interested in being exhibitors at Bench Shows, but it will also serve as a refresher for judges or provide adequate instruction to new individuals interested in learning what is required of judges at Bench Shows.
Individuals of all ages are welcome to attend, but event organizers require that children are accompanied by a parent or other adult chaperone.
Individuals must register prior to April 15 by calling Pam Stewart at 403-849-0446 or Donna Coppieters at 403-752-4957. You can also register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org