151-year-old show is still a drawcard
EACH day hundreds of people filed through the gates of the Clermont Showgrounds to celebrate agriculture, baking, art, and more.
One of the oldest shows in Queensland, the 151-year-old three-day event attracted people from all over the Isaac region to compete, watch and enjoy what the show had to offer.
Scott Moller, whose family has lived in the Clermont region since the 1800s, has been show president for the past seven years.
"It's the only show in the Isaac region, it covers a pretty broad area, so we get people coming from all over the region," he said.
"I think the biggest attraction is it's good value for money ... there is something for everyone."
Mr Moller said in his 22 years with the show, it had continued to grow.
"It's one of the few (shows) that has managed to keep getting a little bit better every year. We've had a few dips, of course, but generally it's getting bigger and better every year," he said.
"The beef cattle section is the biggest anywhere in Central Queensland. This year we had 400 fat cattle and 300 store cattle, and that was a small year because of the dry season.
"The cattle side of it really supports the rest of it for the entertainment we provide. They (cattle industry) are a very generous community, there is one class where the cattle get donated and they're sold for charity, they usually raise $15,000 to $20,000 every year for Rural Flying Doctor and CQ Rescue."
Over the years, the show has raised money for aged care homes, CQ Rescue, Royal Flying Doctor Service and others.
OPINION: A place to hone their skills and put them to a practical test
Less than a month ago, Clermont was at the heart of a political debate. Community members took to the streets to show their support for the Adani Carmichael Mine when the Bob Brown Foundation Stop Adani Convoy arrived in town.
But this week, the heart of the town's agricultural community came to life at the Clermont Show.
I've seen my fair share of agricultural shows, but they were always on the fringe of a city, hanging on to the past in the age of urban sprawl.
In Clermont, I was stepping into a new experience and immersing myself in the culture of the show, even if it was just for two days.
The show gives people the opportunity to put into practice the skills they need in everyday life.
There were cattle dogs and their owners herding cattle, 'young farmers' taking part in the Clermont Show Challenge, and more.
A good example were the young judges who learn the ropes of judging beef cattle and put their emerging expertise to practice in a competition at the show. The shows help these young people hone the skills they've been learning their whole life and put them to test in a practical way.
Competitions like the Beef Cattle Young Judges are helping prepare the next generation for life in the industry. Shows are a breeding ground for the future of the agricultural industry.
It's not just the involvement of the youth, but the participation of the whole community in every aspect of the show.
Whether it is the people who just walk through the gates and pay or the volunteers who keep the show going year after year.
Thanks for having me, Clermont.
Lyndal champions her show
WITH a family history dating back to the origins of the town, Clermont Showgirl <JU>Lyndal Tuttle√ is the kind of <JU>ambassador that will champion the rural community until the end.
At just 23 Ms Tuttle has lived in Hong Kong for seven months, worked in the aged care and disability sector and opened a clothing store in <JU>Clermont.
AndNow she will represent the Clermont Show as a showgirl, showcasing leadership, community involvement, professional development, confidence in the role and be a champion of rural life.
Ms Tuttle has been involved in the show her whole life, carrying on a family tradition that began with her grandparents, who are life members.
When the idea of running for showgirl was floated, Ms Tuttle thought it would be the perfect opportunity to honour her family's history with the Clermont Show.
A showgirl's role is to help show what the community has on offer.
"For me personally, I'm born and raised in Clermont so I'm passionate about Clermont and the Isaac region," Ms Tuttle said.
"We're showcasing our talents and you may not have the best pikelets but you put in an entry and you made a show - I think even if they've turned out terrible, it's great that you've put them in.
"In Queensland I think it's really important that we keep (shows) going, because showgirl and the rural ambassador and even the shows in general are definitely a dying thing, everyone wants to go but no one wants to help, so I think for us ... it's keeping the shows alive."
Ms Tuttle said there was something for everyone at the show and for her it was baking.
"I'm actually a cake decorator on the side, I do not sleep," she said.
"I couldn't enter this year but I entered 18 entries in the pavilion and I got 14 prizes.
"I've never not entered in the show, I lived in Hong Kong ... after school and I sent stuff over to enter in the show."
Ms Tuttle said keeping the traditions of the shows like Clermont was so important.
Last year the show celebrated its 150th year and now more than ever it's important to encourage the younger generations to get involved in agricultural shows.
"I'd love to see the show get to 200, I've got fond memories of coming to the show as a child and I guess it is sentimental to a lot of us," Ms Tuttle said.
"Even if they enter in the pavilion or come and chuck a couple of stock cattle in, if that is their interest, come and pop it in the show.
"I know no one has time but you just have to make the time. Just so we can keep it going.
"It would be such a shame to see it dwindle away."