Today’s Editorial February 08: Keep Ag Show Caymanian

Another Agricultural Show has come and gone and with it lessons learned.

On the surface, the show went off without a hitch.

But that was just on the surface.

Some farmers who took their produce to the site at the Stacy Watler Agricultural Pavilion Tuesday night learned their goods wouldn’t be under security for the whole evening, forcing them to take their produce back to their farms and begin the process again early Wednesday morning.

Those same farmers who could drive to their stalls Tuesday night could be seen passing their produce and foodstuffs to helpers across a barbed wire fence Wednesday morning.

Buying plants from the Agricultural Department proved frustrating for many who had to stand in long lines to order and pay and then stand aside in another line to collect.

We hope next year’s organisers separate the ordering and paying venue from the collection venue.

Agriculture Minister Kurt Tibbetts has promised that additional changes will be made at next year’s Ag Show in an effort to give farmers a boost.

He plans to establish an Agriculture Secretariat that will include a full-time administrator who will oversee agricultural activities.

Mr. Tibbetts promises the secretariat will ensure dialogue and organisation between all involved with the Ag Show, as well as other events.

And while this year’s Ag Show was a huge success, drawing more people than ever, it was evident – at least to farmers – that there was a lack of dialogue and organisation.

While changes are being made for upcoming shows, we would like to see more of Cayman’s heritage and culture displayed.

In days gone by we could look forward to fun and games like sack races, football games, boxing matches, cow plop, coconut sweets sold by children; it wasn’t a money-making venture, it was a fun day for families.

While the tumblers were entertaining this year, they have nothing to do with Cayman’s heritage.

There is no need to bring talent from overseas for this Caymanian event.

We hope that the Agriculture Show doesn’t become something else to just attract tourists.

It should be an event for Caymanians and visitors alike with a mission to showcase all things Caymanian.

If you missed this year’s Ag Show on Grand Cayman, trek to Cayman Brac this weekend where the Sister Islands Agricultural Show will be held on Cayman Brac’s Bluff.