As it comes into the summer, there is going to be at least one agricultural show relatively near you each weekend. If you would like to impress the neighbours (not to mention your mother-in-law) a farm wife should try to win at least one prize at the local county or agricultural show. Thinking it’s impossible? Okay, it’s not easy but much more doable if you follow these tips.
Do Your Homework
Weigh up your options by observing the various classes at the agricultural shows this year. Take notes on which classes have the least entries and decide to enter your creation in one of those next year. No one need know that you came third in a class that only had three or four entries and you might even come first.
Join your local W.I. or I.C.A
By joining your local Women’s Institute or Irish Countrywomen Association, you will learn how to perfect your jam making or improve your crochet but you can also keep an eye on the probable competition. You’ll be able to assess their weaknesses and your strengths with more confidence then.
If you are nervous, only enter classes where you can make the exhibit in advance. If you’re concerned that your cake won’t rise on the morning of the show, concentrate on creating a craft that can be made months in advance or jam so you can select the best pot.
If you are considering entering the Most Appropriately Dressed Lady competition, have at least two outfits planned so that if the weather forecast changes at the last moment, you are well prepared. Go for stylish but sensible footwear you can wear around the show as well as during the competition (and yes, ensure they are waterproof). A suitable hat and a stylish umbrella that conveys your personality as well as accessorizing your outfit can be a good idea.
Use Existing Skills
If you are a beautician or a hairdresser with great attention to detail, your skills will be in demand for the showing of livestock. They need to be washed, blow dried, clipped, polished and be immaculate. The early starts aren’t for the faint-hearted but I believe that it can become quite addictive as a labour of love so investing in some pedigree animals can be a great hobby – and you’ll add value to your livestock by winning too.
Ask your mother-in-law for advice. Let’s face it, if you win in a few classes, this will keep her on side as not only will she have to admit you’re the perfect daughter-in-law but she will be able to claim some of the credit for having ‘taught’ you. Remember it’s a very close line between baking and cooking dishes that are good enough to live up to her expectations and yet not exceed her abilities so you don’t want to put her nose out of joint by winning without some “help”.
And of course, to be a perfect farm wife, you should be able to take a good selfie with many farm animals at the show too and post them to Instagram and Facebook.
And if all fails, have a daughter/son who’s a whizz at baking or showing livestock and claim the credit when they win!
Do let me know if you’ve won prizes in the past and for what – I’d love to hear.