Syd's wisdom passed on to generation next
SYD Haag has an encyclopaedic knowledge of farm produce.
The 85-year-old Kalbar farmer has been exhibiting a wide range of his produce at the Ipswich Show for more than 50 years and has been a Queensland show judge since he was 21, but he's not keeping his vast knowledge to himself.
Mr Haag wants to ensure that the skill and wisdom that he has gleaned over the years is passed on to the younger generation.
"I'm judging at Gatton, Rosewood, and in at Brisbane (at the Ekka) and the school exhibits down there,” he said.
"I arrange to take an associate judge - a young person who is interested - with me so I can show them how to judge and the different varieties.
"I have got to take them to three different shows and then I can put their name in to get nominated for a judging panel.
"This is to get young people to follow on.
"If shows are going to keep going, you have to have the young people interested.
"There is no money in (showing). You do it for the love of it. The prize money just covers your trouble.”
Mr Haag has entered his pumpkins and sheaves of barley, wheat, maize and other produce at this year's show. You name it, he exhibits it.
He insists that showing produce can help a producer immeasurably in their own farming endeavours "if you want to get interested in types of vegetable and improving vegetables”.
"We've been growing the same tomatoes for 50 years,” he said.
"We had two varieties and we have bred another one that we have named 'Haag's wonder'.
"I get calls from people wanting seed from Townsville and everywhere because they know I have the non-hybrid seed.”
The interest in the finer points of producing is in Mr Haag's blood.
"My grandfather was a botanist and that is how we all started off,” he said.
"Then, when my father took over, they started showing in Brisbane at one-farm exhibits, where everything had to come from the one farm.”
Mr Haag has attended 68 consecutive Brisbane shows and in 2015 was recognised by the RNA as an Ekka Legend.
Last year he was also given RNA life membership in recognition of his outstanding contribution.