Stock at helm for show

EXCITED: Ashburton A&P Show president Ben Stock is already planning for this year's event.
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Mid Canterbury grown goodies are set to be on show at this year’s Ashburton A&P Show as new president Ben Stock takes the reigns.

He plans a showcase of produce, and finished products.

The Hinds dairy farmer has chosen the theme The Food Basket of Mid Canterbury – From the Paddock to the Picnic.

He said it builds on last year’s theme of Bees, Bugs and Butterflies, and will involve a showcase of produce and finished products from throughout the district.

“It’s making people aware about what is actually going on in Mid Canterbury,” he said.

“Pull it together in one space and then try to show people the value-add side of it too – what (raw product) eventually turns into.”

Planning for the November 1 and 2 show was still in its early stages, but Stock said there was already plans to move the food and beverage space into a more central place on the grounds.

There will also be more displays, food stalls and fun stuff around that, he said.

“We’ve got lots of new ideas, but it’s just too early to say.

“We want to target people that are not typically show goers and want to try to pull them in and show them what we are doing here.”

CROWD PLEASER: The grand parade always draws a crowd during the Ashburton A&P Show.

Stock hoped stalls would include all the show usuals as well as feature newcomers on the value-add side of the products.

“We just want to make it bright, fun and inclusive (for all),’’ he said.

Stock, and his wife Mary-Anne, have called the district home for 20 years.

Prior to arriving they had been sharemilking around the South Island.

He was introduced to the A&P association by immediate past president Victor Schikker in 2020.

Since then he has been junior vice-president and senior vice-president.

“I got on the committee and got a job straight away,” he said, with a laugh.

A push for the committee earlier this year had resulted in some new members, he said.

‘‘We’ve got some really awesome members.’’ Succession planning was in place with senior vice-president Andrew Lawrence and junior vice-president Sarah Kent in the wings.

“We’ve got a good number of people (on the committee), new people – young and old – and it’s brought with it some energy and healthy new ideas.’’