I have been attending sheep oriented rural shows for over a decade now, great places to catch up with old friends or see new farming equipment. The Bendigo show has a particular appeal simply because of a story I like to tell of the first time I went there.
Picture me, fresh from Sydney, barely introduced to the sheep industry at all over a decade ago. I marvelled at the sights and smells of the show ring and the breeder displays. I had seen a few ram auctions before this but never anything of the size of Bendigo or Hamilton. It was a fascinating new world and everybody was more than happy to introduce me to it.
Of course, you get hungry at a rural show, especially Bendigo which always seems to be cold and raining at this time of the year. I had been walking back and forward past a bakery stand that advertised "Yabbie Pies". Being extremely naive, I figured the name was just a clever brand for what I expected would be a nice, traditional Aussie pie - all soggy pastry, meat, gravy and tomato sauce and the potential for ruining your shirt at any minute. Yum.
Oh dear the first bite of that pie. It tasted...unexpected. Like a kind of muddy mornay rather than the rich gravy of a nice pie. I stopped after the first bite and contemplated the contents of the pie: sure enough, it was actually yabbie. Colleagues with me at the time looked at me with some concern - "is it off?" they asked. I rather sheepishly had to reply that I didn't expect a yabbie pie to be made with actual yabbies. After thinking about it for a few seconds they burst into laughter at my expense. Poor stupid city dweller, welcome to the country!
Of course I've been back many times since and will be heading down there again this year. I look forward to catching up with in person with everybody who has contacted us. We are champing at the bit to get this technology in your hands and on your sheep! Not so keen on another yabbie pie though.