Group day marks milestone

Volunteers 'invaluable' to event

SIENA YATES
Last updated 14:11 23/10/2012

Orini School agricultural day

North Waikato Group Day
Ben Curran/Fairfax NZ
Jaymie Parker leads her calf at North Waikato Group Day, hosted by Gordonton School.

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The North Waikato Group Day has returned to Gordonton School for it's 60th year, marking a milestone anniversary despite an urban take over.

Oganisers said because of the four term year, technology, TV and the 'urban spread', it is getting harder to keep children interested in the event.

The brainchild of Mr Ralph Birdsall, Group Day started in Ngaruawahia in 1952 when more farms and bigger families in the area produced larger classes than we see today.

In 1979, the group changed from the Ngaruawahia to the Hamilton North Agricultural Group and swapped out showing yearlings for showing lambs, and kid goats entered the scene in the early 80s.

 While some schools have had to leave the group as they have become more urban and less farm children were attending, there are still many schools still involved.

Host school Gordonton as well as Horsham Downs, Puketaha, Horotiu, Te Kowhai, Rotokauri, Orini and Whitikahu schools remain in the group and were taking part in today's event. 

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