When you attended the Chestermere Country Fair did you ever wonder who decides which quilt is best, which jam tastes tastiest, or which piece of woodwork has the finest finish? It’s the judge! And he or she has been mentored and trained over a number of years to see the excellence in workmanship or fineness in taste. In a recent interview with Brenda Tower, a registered judge with the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies
I heard from her about how to become a fair judge. First and most obvious, you need a desire to be a judge. Then, a mentor whom you admire and is willing to take you on as a student. Lastly, some time to spend working with your mentor. You then attend fairs and watch as your mentor teaches you how to see the excellence or flaws in entries. Most people who become judges also have a love or interest in one particular area. Maybe you enjoy gardening and would find judging horticultural entries a challenge. Or, maybe baking, or quilting are your specialities. This is not just an area of expertise for only females. The areas of judging woodwork, honey, wine, and photography attract many men to qualify as judges. It takes about two years of training to be able to step out on your own. There is some financial remuneration for judging which, as Brenda says, is not the main reason for taking on this responsibility. To quote her ” I don’t do it for the pay, I do it for the excitement and satisfaction of giving fair entrants the opportunity of seeing that their creative efforts are praiseworthy.” Brenda enjoys being able to encourage competitors with constructive critiques and personal notes that give them positive feedback on their work. Which, in turn, encourages more participation in fairs and keeps that wonderful tradition alive in our communities–big or small. If you are interested in becoming a judge contact one of the judges listed on the online directory .
Or if you want to experience directly, right here in Chestermere, what it is like to be a judge, shadow one of the nine judges working at the Chestermere Country Fair Red Ribbon September 7th, 6pm in the curling rink. To volunteer contact Lennox at email@example.com or call the Ag Society office at 403 272 7170x 223.