LIVESTOCK breeders in the region are busy buffing their beasts in preparation for this week's Bendigo Agricultural Show.
Entries for sheep, cattle, pig, goat and alpaca breeds are on par or higher than last year and despite the changing times, the show remains a mainstay event for many breeders, said show secretary Rod Bowles.
“The show really is farmers’ ‘shop window’,” Mr Bowles said.
“They can take their product and put it on display and hopefully that helps them get the commercial interest they need.
“If they win a ribbon it gives them recognition of their stud.”
Improvements to the showgrounds' facilities, such as the all-weather 6000 square metre exhibition centre custom-built for livestock, help ensure exhibitors keep coming back.
Bendigo Show is one of the only shows in Victoria to have a pig show. This year it displays eight breeds and is hosting a seminar for pig breeders on Saturday.
The cattle section and competition for Supreme Champion Bull and Supreme Champion Cow remains strong among the Dexter, Australian Shorthorn, Beef Shorthorn, Charolais, Poll Hereford, Murray Grey and Squaremeater breeds.
In the sheep section there are 140 entries from Geelong in the south to Rochester in the north, of mainly prime lamb breeds including Suffolk, Polwarth, Dorper, and Southdown. The Poll Dorset is the feature breed.
Alpacas have 130 entries and dairy goats about 40 entries.
Apart from the serious livestock competition, the craft and cookery sections are also hotly contested by rural entrants.
As an event where rural meets country and older meets younger, the show is the perfect venue for a new program this year, The Bubble Muffin Kids Cooking Club, a fun approach to educating children about healthy eating.