Merino & Sandford & Casterton Agricultural Society

Glenelg & Wannon Region, S-W Victoria, Australia


(Mackwood's Merino Inn, on Saturday, 21st April 1866)

A large meeting of farmers and others interested in the formation of a "Merino and Sandford Agricultural Society" was held held in Mackwood's Merino Inn, on Saturday 21st April at 4 p.m. Mr. W. Graham was called on to preside. The chairman said they were assembled to take into consideration a question of great importance every man present, also to the district, and he thought all were agreed to form themselves into a society, for mutual advantage and protection, and that they might obtain a fare share of the public money granted in aid of such societies, as he hoped the Merino and Sandford would become.

Mr. Vegg [sic VAGG] moved, That in the opinion of this meeting, it is desirable that a society be formed under the name of the "Merino and Sandford Agricultural Society."

The mover spoke in support of the motion, and said that without union there was no strength, and that as iron sharpeneth iron, so doth the conflict of ideas. The meeting together of farmers and others to discuss the various experiments made in the district, must necessarily benefit the whole community, besides there are a great many prizes to compete for, as for instance £40 for the best forty bushels of wheat, and £30 for the best forty bushels of oats, offered by the Royal Society.

Mr. Cheriton seconded the motion, and said that such a society should have been formed long ago, but better late than never. Messrs. Anderson, Doyle, Maloney, Rhodes, and McLennon, all spoke in favor of the motion, which was carried inanimously.

It was then agreed that the next meeting should be held at 4 p.m., on Saturday, 5th May, in the same place, for the purpose of electing office-bearers, &c., and the proceedings terminated with a vote of thanks to the chairman.

"Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser" Thursday, 26th April 1866.


(Mackwood's Merino Inn, on Saturday, 5th May 1866)

A meeting of the Merino and Sandford Agricultural Society was held in Mackwood's Merino Inn, on Saturday May 5th, at 4 p.m. Mr. Vegg [sic VAGG] was called on to preside. The chairman explained the object of the meeting, and hoped those present would select office bearers likely to work harmoniously together, and men who would take an interest in the prosperity of the Society.

It was moved by Mr. McLennan, (Sandford) and seconded by Mr. Costello, that Mr. Benn be chairman, and Mr. Andison, (Sandford) be vice-chairman. Carried unanimously. Moved by Mr. Angas Turner and seconded by Mr. James Tweedie, that Mr. Mackwood be Treasurer, and Mr. W. Graham be Secretary. Carried unanimously.

At this stage a discussion took place, about the length of the term for which the office bearers were elected. The Secretary said there were about forty subscribers only on the list at present, but if those gentemen now appointed would hold office for three months, the society would probably number one hundred members of one pound subscription each, when a fresh election of office bearers might take place. The suggestion was agreed to.

A subscription list was then presented of £21, which had been got up previously to the formation of the Society for the purpose of encouraging good ploughing. It was resolved that a ploughing match should take place in July. It was then agreed that the next meeting he held at Mr. McEvoy's Sandford Hotel, on the 19th of May, at 4 p.m., and the proceedings terminated with a vote of thanks to the Chairman.

"Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser" Thursday, 14th May 1866.


(McEvoy's Sandford Hotel, Saturday, 16th June 1866.)

A meeting of the Committee appointed to carry out the projected Merino and Sandford Ploughing Match was held in McEvoy's Sandford Hotel on Saturday, 16th June, Mr. Cheriton in the chair. On the motion of Mr. McEvoy, seconded by Mr. Patterson, it was resolved unanimously that the match take place on Mrs Mitchell's land, Sandford Flat, on Friday, 20th July, provided the site selected meets the approval of those appointed to examine and report. The amount for prizes was postponed till next meeting, as all the list of subscribers were not yet sent in. On the motion of Messrs. Mitchell and Tweedie, it was resolved that Messrs. J. Andison, R. H. Cheriton, and Murray (Runnymeade) act as judges. After some further discussion it was agreed that a full meeting of the Society be held in Mackwood's Merino Inn, on Thursday, 28th instant, at 6 p.m., to fix the amount to be spent on the ploughing match, and to decide whether a public dinner should be held after the match. A vote of thanks to the Chairman closed the meeting.

"Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser" Thursday, 21st June 1866.


(Mackwood's Merino Inn, on Saturday, 28th June 1866)

A meeting of the Merino and Sandford Farmers' Society was held in Mackwood's Merino Inn, on 28th June, Mr. Costello in the chair.

The Chairman explained the object of the meeting, and hoped those present were all prepared to take an active part in the encouragement of good ploughing in this neighbourhood, hitherto neglected for want of union amongst the farmers. But the want of union amongst the farmers can be no longer set forth as a barrier in the way of speeding the plough. He said they were assembled here, he hoped, for the last time until they could boast of having a ploughing match between Merino and Sandford.

The minutes of last meeting read and confirmed.

Some discussion took place as to the propriety of having a different classification for horse teams and bullock teams, but on the motion of Messrs. Cussen and Mackwood a separate classification was agreed to by a majority of one. It was next resolved that the prizes for horses and bullocks be equal.

The list of prizes and rules was submitted, and after some slight alterations the Secretary was directed to have them advertised in the Portland Guardian only. The match to come off on 20th July, on Mr. Henty's land, Merino Downs. Messrs. Patterson, Rhodes, Fyfe, and Costello, were appointed to measure the ground. It was intimated that one of the judges appointed at the last meeting, owing to private business, could not attend, and Mr. Charles White, Digby, was appointed to supply his place. It was here stated to the meeting that many of the farmers near Coleraine intended to become members of the society.

Mr. Cussen moved a vote of thanks to the chairman which was carried unanimously, and this closed the business of the meeting.

"Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser" Thursday, 5th July 1866.

1866 : Merino and Sandford Ploughing Match.

(Mr. F. Henty's land, Merino Downs, Friday, 20th July, 1866)

THE following is the LIST of PRIZES to be competed for at the above Ploughing Match, to take place on Mr. F. Henty's land, Merino Downs, on Friday, 20th July, 1866 :

1st Prize ... ... ... £7 0 0
2nd do ... ... ... .. £4 0 0
3rd do ... ... ... ... £1 0 0

lst Prize ... ... ... £7 0 0
2nd do ... ... ... .. £4 0 0
3rd do ... ... ... ... £1 0 0

1st Prize ... ... ... £4 0 0
2nd do ... ... ... ... £2 0 0

A prize of £1 each will be given for the straightest furrow drawn by Horses and Bullocks.
A prize of £4 each will be given for the declared best team of Horses and Bullocks that have appeared in the Matches.
The £4 prizes in horse and bullock teams will not be awarded unless there are four entries for each.


lst. That the match be open to any description of plough.
2nd. That competitors plough half an acre, the furrows to be five inches deep and nine inches wide, with the exception of the crown furrows and the last but one.
3rd. That the mould furrow be taken out, so that a seed bed be left on each side.
4th. No assistance shall be allowed the ploughman, except to set and withdraw the poles.
5th. Time allowed for horses, four hours and a half ; for bullocks, five hours and a quarter. 6th. Ten shillings subscription to qualify. The entries to be made on the ground between 9 and 10 a.m. The ploughing to commence at 10 a.m. precisely.
June 29,1866.

"Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser" Thursday, 5th July 1866.


(Merino Pound, Wednesday, 1st May 1867.)

We presume that it is not often the town of Merino exhibits so much liveliness as it did on Wednesday last, the 1st inst., on the occasion of the first show of the Merino and Sandford Agricultural Society ; and we have reason to know that, had it not been for a remarkably weighty court at Digby, reported in another column, the visitors would have been considerably increased. As it was there were between three and four hundred persons present, but we are sorry to say that the exhibits, were not in sufficient number, to compete for all the prizes. This is, however, a defect which will be remedied year after year. Rome was not built in a day nor is it to be supposed, that the Merino and Sandford Society's first show would be equal to what it will eventually become, when every farmer in the district will make an effort to render the show, a model in which all that is excellent in machinery, farming tensils, fruit, dairy produce, cattle, horses, grain and cereals will be amply represented. The show was held in the Pound adjoining the township, and the following gentlemen acted as Judges :--Grain--Messrs. Reid, McIntyre, and Greenway. Stock--Messrs. Silvester, D. Mclennan, and J. Anderson. Impliments &c.--Messrs M. Matheson, J. Stock, and J. Nurner. The following shows the list, prizes, and successful competitors.


For the best 20 bushels of wheat prize there were eight entries--
Robert Vagg, lst prize L8, weighing 64½ lbs per bushel on the average.
William Tully, 2nd prize L2, weighing 64½ lbs per bushel on the average.
T. W. Warren, D. McLennan, W. Graham, J. Doyle, C. Nolte, and J. Fulton were also competitors for wheat, and amongst the five names first mentioned, there was only half a pound difference in the weight of their sample, and those exhibits which obtained the first and second prizes. The wheat exhibited by Fulton, weighed 65½ lb to the bushel, but was excluded on the ground that it was not grown by the exhibitor, and was mixed with other grain, oats barley and drake.
For the best 20 bushels T...tarian Oats--There were four entries.
T. W. Warren, 1st prize, £5, the bushel weighing 39½lbs.
Robert Vagg, 2nd prize, £2, the bushel weighing 39lbs.


For the best 6 lbs of butter, there were three entries,
James Doyle, 1st prise, £1
T. Costello, 2nd do. 10s.


For the best show of fowls, common breed, there were two entries.
T. Costello. lst prize, £1.


For the best entire horse there were three entries.
John Patterson, 1st prize, £5
D. McIntyre, 2nd do, £2
F. Henty.


For the best mare, draught breed, there were three entries.
T. Mackwood, lst prize, £4
R. Mackwood, 2nd do, £2.


For the best cow there were three entries
J. F. Reed, lst prize, £2
W. Enscoe, 2nd do, £1


For the best colonial made plough. There was only one exhibitor for this prize, Mr. W. McInnes, and as the judges had a discrctionary power, the first prize of L3 was awarded to him. Mr. McInnes exhibited two ploughs both creditable as specimens of colonial workmanship.


The first prise of L2 was awarded W. Graham, for the best cleaning and winnowing machine. There were no exhibits in cape barley, potatoes, ryegrass seed, clover seed, garden seeds, cabbages, wine and table grapes, apples, fruit, mangold, tobacco, colonial cheese, and pigs were not represented, It is probable that the next show, which takes place at Sandford, will in the course of the next year supply many of the deficient exhibits, which in a district like Merino should all be extensively cultivated.


(Mackwood's Merino Inn, on Wedbesday, 1st May 1867)

A dinner in connection with the show was held in the evening in Mackwood's, Merino Inn, in a new and beautifully finished hall, about 36 feet by 18, and 12 feet to the ceiling. Between 40 and 50 gentlemen sat down to tables that absolutely groaned under all the dishes which were heaped on them in such profusion. The chair was occupied by T. W. Silvester, Esq., and the vice-chair by Mr. Cheriton who is also the president of the Society. On the removal of the cloth, the Queen, the Prince of Wales and all the Royal Family were toasted and warmly received, and the name of the Governor Sir J. H. T. Manners Sutton was received with all the honours. The vice-chairman next proposed the pastoral, agricultural and commerical interests coupled with the names of the chairman T. W. Silvester, T. W. Warren and M. Cussen.
The chairman briefly responded on the part of the pastoral interest. He was much pleased to see so many connected with farming at this meeting, and believed that the number would be greater at the next. He returned thanks for the warm manner in which the toast had been received. (Cheers) .
Mr. T. W. Warren replied on behalf of agriculture, and Mr. M. Cussen thanked the company for the way in which the commercial interest had been received.
The next toast given was "Success to the Merino and Sandford Agricultural Society" and which was received with rounds of applause.
Mr. T. W Warren responded on behalf of the Society, and was happy to find from the way in which the toast had been received that the society was so popular. He was sorry that there had not been more conmpetitors, as after all the expenses were paid and the prizes awarded this society would have more than £20 in hand, which they would have distributed had exhibits come to hand. He believed the business had been conducted in a strait forward way, and that the judges had done their duty. The prospects of the Society now prosperous, were at one time gloomy, but he believed the most desponding would now admit that the Merino and Sandford Society was a great success. (Cheers.)
The successful competitors was next given, to which Mr. Vagg responded. He had been eminently successful on the present occasion, and hoped that those who were not so fortunate, would try again and prove successful at the next.
Mr. Tweedie responded on behalf of the unsuccessful.
Mr. Lawrence S. Henty also responded on behalf of the unsuccessful, but would remark that it was most improper to appoint judges on the ground after the competitors had sent in their exhibits, as he understood was done in the present instance. He did not mean to say that there had been anything wrong or partial in the decision of the judges, but to avoid all suspicion of such he would say that no new judges should be appointed on the ground on the day of the show, and when the exhibitors had forwarded their stock. If one judge failed to appear and take his part in the proceedings, then the remaining judges should supply his place.
For his own part he believed it the horse exhibited for his father had been worthy, he would have received the prize, but with every desire to promote the interests of the Society, he must protest against the irregular appointment of judges, which he held was never done in the Royal Society England, nor so far as he was aware in any other country. The vice-Chairman, Mr. Cheriton replied to Mr. Henty, and said that perfection could not be attained nor expected at once, the committee had done their best, but he believed it was well known that it was impossible to please everybody. (Cheers.) With regard to the charges made by Mr. Henty, he could only say that one of the judges had been removed from a department in which he became an exhibitor and was moved to a place in which he had no interest direct or indirect. He believed the decisions had given general satisfaction, and that the judges had discharged their duty conscientiously. (Cheers.)
Mr. Enscoe proposed the health of Mr. William Graham the Secretary. Received with all the honors.
Mr. Graham said his object had been and still was to benefit through the Society every man living in the district, and to draw from Melbourne a share of the public money which was always so liberally dispensed there. (Cheers.) He was proud of the Society which had been projected to encourage farming and farmers' interests, and supersede a society which had flourished here but was now dead, known as the "Victorian Association." (Applause.) As Secretary he had done nothing but his duty, and he was proud that through the exertions of many and the support of nearly all, the Society had proved a great success. (Cheers.)
The toast of the Judges was next proposed, and received with all the honors.
Mr. Anderson, Sandford, responded. He did not profess to be a great jndge, but he would say that he had acted according to his conscience. (Loud Cheers.)
The Chairman proposed the Ladies, to which Mr. T. J. Ross responded.
Mr. Ross next gave our Host and Hostess, which was drank with three cheers and one cheer more.
Mr. T. Mackwood responded, he was pleased with the success of the Society, and returned his best thanks for the enthusiastic way in which his name and that of Mrs. Mackwood had been received.
Mr. M. Cussen proposed the toast of the Press, coupled with the name of Mr. Cooper and the Portland Guardian. The toast was received with rounds of applause.
Mr. Cooper was pleased with the warm manner in which the toast of the Press had been received, and was proud, for the first time, to meet so many of the farmers of Merino and Sandford. He still held by the opinion expressed by Burke, one of our greatest philosophic statesmen, that :- "The first creditor in every country is the PLOUGH, and that this original and undfensible claim supersedes all other demands." (Loud cheers.) But it was not only the opinion of Burke that the plough had the first claim in every country, another great man, Dean Swift, a countryman of his own, and he was nothing the worse for being a countryman, (laughter and cheers), had stated that he who makes two blades of grass grow where one only previously existed, was a greater blessing in the world than the whole race of politicians. (Cheers.) The Speaker was surrounded by men who had done better than ever Dean Swift contemplated, and had made not two but a dozen blades of grass spring up in what had previously been nothing but a desert. (Loud cheers.) The farming interest should always have the first consideration in every country, and he was proud to find that after so many political struggles the farmers of Victoria had attained a position advantageous alike to themselves and all other classes of the community. Up till the present the colony was at the mercy of foreigners and famine ; this year we are able to maintain ourselves, and after retaining sufficient for seed we are able to spare a share of our agricultural produce for export. In the event of war we could not be so easily starved into submission, and he had no doubt if any enemy should appear on our coast the colonists had sufficient courage to give a good account of them--(Protracted cheering.) The speaker was proud to have taken some share in the struggle, in his connexion with the Portland Guardian, for a recoginition of the farmers' rights. He had been for his pain denounced as a demagogue whose inability to do mischief was only limited by his want of power ; but despite all that had been said he still held fast by the opinion that the worst of all demagogues was the man who refused to the bone and sinew of the country the right to occupy and cultivate the soil, from which all other interests derived its sustenance. (Cheers.) Expecting to be called on at this meeting, the speaker had noted down a few facts which he believed would interest his auditors. The approximate agricultural statistics recently furnished by the Registrar General, shows an amount of progress in the occupation and cultivation of the land that is truly astonishing. The yield of wheat for the year 1866, is set down at 5,216,336 bushels as against 3,514,227 in the preceding year, and allowing 500,000 bushels for seed we have still more than 7 bushels per head for the consumption of every man, woman and child in the colony. (Cheers.) This was greater than the average usually allowed for conusumption, so that probably when all colonial wants are supplied, we will still have a surplus for export. The speaker had other statistics but as statistics were rather too dry for a convivial meeting such as the present, he would postpone their consideration for another opportunity. (Shouts of go on.) He thought he said enough on that part of the subject, and would now, with the leave of the meeting, consider another which was scarcely less interesting to the farmers of Merino, Sandford, Coleraine, Branxholme, and the district of the Wannon generally. The price of grain was not so high as to leave much margin for profit, and year after year in the present as in the years to come the price of carriage to the best available market, must of necessity occupy the attention of every man connected with farming ; cheap grain and dear roads would never do, while cheap grain and cheap roads might still leave a sufficient margin for profit.The leading commercial men in Hamilton and Portland had been the first to recognise the fact, and as a consequnece two schemes had been projected-a railway to connect Hamilton with Melboutne, either by the way of Ararat and Ballarat, or by Colac and Camperdown with Geelong and Melbourne--or the Portland Tramway or railway, which offers to connect Portland Bay with Branxholme and Coleraine, and subsequently with Merino, Sandford, Digby, Casterton, and Hamilton. It was for the farmers of this district to weigh well the arguments in support of either scheme, and hold fast and support that which was the most feasible and offered the greatest pecuniary advantages. First then, the Hamilton scheme was so vast in its proportions that at least ten years must elapse, under the most favorable conditions, before it could be brought into operation, and then only at the expense of many millions sterling as an addition to the national debt ; whilst the other, the Portland scheme, only involved a present outlay of £80,000, carried out by private enterprise, with little, or no expense to the Government, no increase to the national debt, as above and beyond all in active operation within twelve months ar two years at the outside. (Cheers.) Which of the two schemes deserves the patronage of the farmers of Merino and Sandford--the one resting on the goodwill of a Melbourne Government, that never has shown much interest in this district, save in the way of selling the public land, spending the money in Melbourne, and giving next to nothing in return, or a scheme which proposes like Jupiter's waggoner to benefit ourselves by putting our own shoulder to the wheel (Cheers.) The remedy in one case is but distant and somewhat mythical in prospect, in the Portland scheme immediate and within our reach, if the farmers of the district will only lend that aid which sound sense, and true policy dictate. But this is not all that may be said of the practicability of the Portland Scheme. Already £30,000 have been expended on the intended line of the Portland railway, sixteen miles of the road from Portland to Heywood is ready for the laying down of the rails, and to make the work still more easy of accomplishment, the Government offers the work alread done as a free gift, besides an acre of land for every two pounds that a company may expend in the constructioln. The land alone if judiciously selected will be of a greater value than the whole cost of the line, and judging from the rapidity with which the farmers are taking possesion of the interior, the Portland Railway, even as a speculation, offers tempting advantages to a company. (Cheers) Mr. Cooper would have the meeting to understand distinctly that he was in no way connected with the Railway Company, either as director or agent, and his present statements were only dictated from his position as a journalist,--an independent journalist--who never hitherto was afraid to avow his sentiments even when his own pecuniary interests were involved--and when in point of policy it might have been wiser to say nothing. (Cheers.)
Mr. Warren was in favour of the Hamilton scheme, and wished to know what were the farmers of Merino to do in the meantime ? Why not make the railway to Merino and Casterton ?
Mr. Graham--In building a house you must first lay the foundation. (Cheers.) As of a house so of a railway ; The Portland Company first propose to carry the line to Brauxholme and Coleraine and as trade increased and the company got stronger, to Sandford, Merino, Casterton and Hamilton. The trunk lines were first laid in England, and then the branches followed. (Cheers)
Mr. Cheriton was also in favour of the Hamilton railway. What the farmers wanted was a market for their produce, such as Ballarat or Melbourne offered. The Portland railway or tramway would only tend to foster that monopoly which had hitherto existed in Portland, and which had thrown the trade of the district into the hands of such men as Trangmar, Trangmar and Crouch, and the Hentys ; whiist the Hamilton railway would at once bring the farmers in contact with the great centres of population.
Mr. Cooper appealed to the chairman whether it was fair on the part of the vice chairman to be allowed to criticise when from the character of the meeting he would be denied the right of reply. (Here, here.) Inferentially the vice-chairman accused hin of wishing to aid in the further development of a trade monopoly in the advocacy of the Portland railway, whilst his sole object in its advocacy was to get rid of the very monopoly which the vice-chairman denounced. (Cheers) An accession of trade to Portland would bring an accession of traders, and where there was plenty of competition monopoly was impossible. (Applause.)
The health of the chairman and vice-chairman closed the proceedings, which were marked with good humour throughout ; some capital songs were given, and the band, which had played appropriate airs during the dinner, as soon as the tables were cleared struck up, and the dining hall was at once converted into a ballroom. The music and dancing were kept up to an early hour.

"Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser" Monday, 6th May 1867.


The annual general meeting of the Merino and Sandford Agricultural Society was held in Mackwood's Sandford Hotel, on Saturday the 25th May, at 6 p.m. Mr. T. W. Warren was voted to the chair.
The minutes of last meeting and Secretary's correspondence read and aproved, after which a considerable discussion took place, about election of office bearers, to hold office till 21st April, 1868. Some were of the opinion that office bearers neglecting to attend the meetings regularly, ought to be replaced by other members that have and are likely to take an interest in the society ; one of the speakers held that one working bee in a hive is worth a dozen drones any day.
The following office bearers were appointed :--T. W. Warren, Vice-President ; J. Andison junr., Treasurer ; Wm. Graham, Secretary. Committee-Messrs. T. Costello, John Patterson, F. McLennan, J. Maloney, D. McIntyre, jun., J. Doyle, Wm. McLellan, H. Simmons, J. Andison, senr., R. Vagg, J. F. Reid, J. Tweedie.
The consideration of the appointment of President was deferred till next meet ing, to be held on Saturday the 8th June, at Mackwood's Merino Inn at 5 p.m., when the preliminaries in connexion with the forthcoming annual ploughing match will be arranged. The customary vote of thanks to the chairman closed the meeting. 25th May, 1867.

"The Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser" (Vic.) Thursday, 30th May 1867.

1870 : Merino and Sandford Agricultural Society's dinner.

THE PORTLAND AND COLERAINE RAILWAY. - At the Merino and Sandford Agricultural Society's dinner on Wednesday, 11th. inst, the question of cheap transit to market as might have been expected, made part in the programme ; the Vice-President and President are reported as follows in the "Coleraine Albion" of the 13th :-- Mr Geo. Southern proposed "the Vice." In thanking the company for the honor, Mr Jackson wished to impress upon those present the good to be derived by all working together. One thing in particular he wished to bring under their notice, and that was a circular he had received from the Secretary to the Portland and Northern Railway Committee. Mr Jackson delivered a number of slips round the room intimating that meetings would be held at Sandford and other towns very shortly. His convictions were all in favor of a Portland line. He believed the line from Ballarat would be a good thing, and he approved of the action taken by the Hamilton people, but what would most benefit this district was what the inhabitants should go in for. We would never be able to compete with California even in the Melbourne market if we had to pay railway carriage at the rate charged on existing lines, they ought to try to get to the nearest port first. He would not be a party to opposing the Hamilton line, but would give precedence to the Portland line for several reasons. There was a third of the line already made ; the Ballarat line would pass through a hundred miles of inferior country, and the cost bears no comparison. He hoped that every farmer would attend the meeting and induce their friends to join them. Mr. Cheriton supported the remarks of Mr. Jackson ; the cost of transit to Melbourne would be as heavy as the freight from California, and besides there were farmers at Ararat and Ballarat who would get their corn to Melbourne for less than we could, and a railway would be of little use to a district if it had the effect of shutting the farmers out from the markets. He had never been very anxious about Portland, because there had been such a monopoly there, but he believed that was now, at an end. If we send our corn, ships will go there for it and competition would keep shipping charges down lower than railway carriage.

"The Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser" (Vic.) Thursday, 19th May 1870.


At a meeting of the Merino and Sandford Agricultural Society hold on Monday, 17th inst, at Cawker's Commercial Hotel Merino, it was resolved that the Annual Show for 1873 be held on Tuesday the 8th day of April next. On the question of a substantial fence as applicable to the requirements of the district, it was carried though not unanimously, that a fence sufficient to serve the purposes of the owner of the land to keep his own stock from trespassing on the lands of his neighbour is a substantial fence. The next meeting of the Society to make arrangements for the show will be held on the 10th of March at McLean's hotel Sandford.

"The Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser" (Vic.) Monday, 24th February 1873.


We have to correct some errors and supply omissions in the hurried report which appeared in the last issue of the Gardian of the 10th inst. In the first prize for wheat it should have been James Andison, not Doyle, who is rightly reported as having received the second prize. The dinner, which was held in Cawker's Commercial Hotel, Merino, was served up in the landlord's best style, Mr. R. H. Cheriton in the chair, Mr H. A. Elms acting as vice. After the usual loyal toasts were gone through, Mr Vagg proposed the Pastoral and Agricultural Interest, which was duly honored, Mr. L. S. Henty responded. Mr Ford proposed Success to the Merino and Sandford Agricultural Society, and hoped the farmers would assist it as a matter of the greatest interest. Hitherto the farmers have been backward in carrying out the purpose of the society and too much of the working has been thrown on the storekeepers ; to his own knowledge dozens of the farmers able to support the society, had never lent it any aid. (Cheers). The toast was received with all the honors. Mr Cheriton proposed the Press, Mr Tytherleigh responded, Mr D. Johnston proposed the judges, Mr Silvester responded. After a number of songs Mr Cheriton responded to the toast of the successful competitors, and Mr Payne responded on behalf of the unsuccessful competitors proposed by Mr W. Graham. The dinner passed off very well, and on the whole the show has been a success.


The farmers in the neighbourhood of Merino, Sandford, and Casterton have commenced to plough rather earlier than last season. Though a great many commence early every season, yet some of those that have hitherto waited to the eleventh hour are now as it were starting in the beginning of the season. No doubt the grasshoppers have been a very great source of annoyance to them, and many of them cling to the opinion that they will remain much longer than many of the most experieinced at first anticipated. At this very moment the young are still to be seen in thousands ; the only difference noticeable in their movements are that about one half of them have changed their colour from a sort of brown to black ; but black or brown, and small as they are, the danger is keenly felt by the farmers and settlers. We noticed a few patches of clover that had just sprung up, when a swarm of these pests, many of them not much larger than a common house-fly, gathered on it and next day it appeared as bare as newly ploughed land.


The metayer system of farming so prevalent on the continent of Europe has found its counterpart amongst the large landowners of the Wannon and Glenelg, and now great numbers of farmers are settling on the purchased lands at Dunrobin and to a lesser extent at Muntham and Merino Downs. The lands as a rule are let on lease for three years, the rental two and a half bushels of wheat per acre ; and during the past season many of' the tenants had much pleasure in paying the stipulated rent. The land being new and in good heart yielded as much as 20 bushels on the average. The new system is likely to prove advantageous to both landlords aind tenants, the farmer on the new lands will get good crops at an easy rate, and the landlords will, in the cultivation, reap great gain when the leases are up, and the plough has eradicated some of the ferneries and rushes which in some places promise if left alone to destroy whole runs. On Dunrobin, Mr C. Koch, formerly of Porland has this season rented 640 acres the whole of which and probably half as much more will all go in wheat for the next year, and we learn that the Messrs Warren, Mitchell, Sherwood, Murrell, McIntyre, Balfour and, many other farmers will this year follow Koch's example and all go in for wheat cultivation in the coming season. Where so much wheat is being grown, when the price is so low would it not be well for other farmers in the district for once in a way to try what can be done with a flax crop now that a market for the fibre is opened in Portland?

"The Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser" (Vic.) Monday, 14th April 1873.

1877 : Annual Show of the Merino, Sandford and Casterton Pastoral and Agricultural Society.

The annual show of the Merino, Sandford and Casterton Pastoral and Agricultural Society was held on Thursday last, at Grant's Hotel. There was a goodly number of exhibits, and the attendance was large. The weather was everything that could be desired. After the show there was a dinner ; and to finish up there was the inevitable "ball."
The weather for some time past has been exceedingly dry, and farm work has consequently been delayed. However, the welcome downpour on Friday night, and the occasional showers since, have made up in some measure for the past dryness.

"The Portland Guardian" (Vic.) Friday, 11th May 1877.

1877 : MERINO, SANDFORD, AND CASTERTON Agricultural and Pastoral Society.

MERINO, SANDFORD, AND CASTERTON Agricultural and Pastoral Society.
President--George Carmichael, Esq.
Vice-President--A. T. Anderson, Esq.
Sub Committee--A. W. McPherson, J. F. Carmichael, C. Sprigg, R. Crawford, J. Doyle. sen,, P, M'Ewan, Thos. Carmichael, Thos. Moylan, Simon Anderson.
Treasurer--Mr. J. Beckett.
THE FIRST ANNUAL PASTORAL SHOW Will be held at CASTERTON About the beginning of SEPTEMBER, 1877.

"The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Wednesday, 4th July 1877.


The Annual Show of the Merino, Sandford and Casterton Pastoral and Agricultural Society was held on Wednesday. The reduction of train service recently made on account of the strike sensibly affected the attendance at the Show. As regards the exhibits, those in the sheep classes were not numerous, but in the sections set apart for horses the show was unusually good. The miscellaneous sections were also well filled. The weather was beautiful taking it all through.

We subjoin the prize list from the "Spectator."


SHEEEP.--MERINOS--Ram over two years--J. H. Jackson, Sandford, 1 ; W. Anderson, Moredun Hill, 2. Ram under one and a half years--Somerville Bros., Sandford, 1. Ewe over two years--McIntyre Bros., 1 ; Somerville Bros., 2. Ewe over one and a half years--W. Anderson, 1 ; Somerville Bros., 2. Champion ram--J. H. Jackson, 1. Champion ewe--W. Anderson, 1. Three merino ewes, bred by exhibitor--Somerville Bros., 1. Ram any age (to be sold for £5) W. Andersen, 1.
(Restricted to owners of not more than 2,000 sheep).
Ram over two years--P. Clarke, Mundarra, 1; W. Anderson, 2. Ram under one and a half years--Somerville Bros., 1. Ewe over one and a half years-W. Anderson, 1 ; P. Clarke. 2. Ewe under one and a half years--W. Anderson, 1 ; P. Clarke, 2. Champion ewe in division, bred by exhibitor--W. Anderson, 1. Champion ram in division--P. Clarke, 1. Ram, any age--J. Waters, 1. Ewe, any age--P. Clarke, 1 ; W. Anderson, 2. Three merino ewes, any age--W. Anderson, 1 ; G. and D. Boyle (Lake Mundi), 2.
(Grass-fed, open division).
Ram, any age--J. H. Jackson, 1 ; Merino Downs estate, 2. Ewe, any age--J. R. Carmichael (Argyle), 1 ; J. H. Jackson, 2.

LONGWOOLS.--Ram, under fifteen months-P. Christie (Garvald Vale), 1 ; E. Walter, Warrayure, 2. Ram, over two years--P. Christie, 1 ; E. Walter, 2. Ewe, under 15 months, P. Christie, 1 ; E. Walter, 2. Ewes over two years--P. Christe, 1 ; E. Walter, 2. Champion ram--P. Christie, 1. Champion ewe--P. Christie, 1.

HORSES--Draught stallion--H. McClure's Young Doubleton Lad, 1 ; R. Forsyth's Heather Jack, 2. Draught mare Merino Downs estate, 1. Two-year-old draught filly--C. Koch, 1 ; Pair draught horses--C. Koch, 1 ; W. Anderson, 2. Thoroughbred stallion--J. McIntyre's Montrose 1 ; J. B. Gill's Gonsalvo, 2 ; Thoroughbred mare--Merino Downs estate, 1st and 2nd. Pony entire--J. Peachey, 1 ; T. Cawker 2. High-jumper, 11-stone up--A. B. Turnbull's Gold-top, 5 feet, 1. Ladies Hack--J. B. Gill, 1 ; E. Silvester, 2. Pony under 14 hands over hurdles--A. B. Turnbull, 1 ; C. Nolte, 2. Horse over hurdles--A. Livingstone's Frantic, 1 ; J. McPhee's Shiela, 2. Eleven stone hunter--E. B. Dancock's May Queen, 1 ; J. B. Gill's High flyer, 2. Two-year-old thoroughbred colt--Merino Downs estate, 1 and 2. Two year old thoroughbred filly-- Merino Downs estate, 1. Yearling thoroughbred filly--Merino Downs estate, 1. Trotting stallion--J. Irving, 1 ; Joseph Ferrier, 2. Pair buggy horses-R. S. Douglass, 1 ; Young Bros., 2. Fourteen stone hack--C. T. Turnbull, 1 ; Mrs. Nicholls, 2. Eleven stone hack-J. B. Gill, 1 ; T. Cawker, 2. Pony hack to 14 hands--J. B. Gill, 1 ; Hon. N. Thornley, 2. Single buggy horse, 15½ hands or over--A. B. Turnbull, 1 ; W. V. Lee, 2, Pair buggy ponies to 14 hands--J. B. Gill, 1 ; W. N. Scholfield, 2. Best walker amongst hacks--J. McKenzie, 1 ; A. Johnstone, 2.

CATTLE.--Durham bull-Merino Downs Estate, 1. Hereford bull--Hon. N. Thornley, 1. Durham cow--Hon. N. Thornley, 1 ; Merino Downs Estate, 2. Hereford cow--Hon. N. Thornley, 1. Two fat bullocks--Merino Downs Estate, 1. Two fat cows--Hon. N. Thornley, 1.

FARM PRODUCE, ETC.--Wheat-T. Warren (Sandford), 69½bs, 1 ; J. Tompkins (Carapook), 67½1bs, 2. English barley--J. Ferrier was awarded a second prize. Cape barley--J. Ferrier was awarded a second prize. Tartarian oats--White and Lyfield, 1. Oats of any other kind--Milburn Bros., 1 ; J. M. Scott, 2. Potatoes--J. Peachey, 1 ; J. Doyle junr., 2. Carrots--Sam Sing, 1. Turnips--Sam Sing, 1 ; M. White, 2. Vegetable marrows--Sam Sing. 2. Pumpkins--Sam Sing, 2. Table apples--C. Hlumphries, 1. Cooking apples--C. Humphries, 2. Collection of fruit--C. Humphries, 1. Fresh butter--Mrs. W. Stock, 1 ; Mrs. Nicholas, 2. Cheese--M. Mathieson, 1, Hams--C. Humphries, 1 ; J. Brown, 2. Bacon--C.Humphries, 1 ; J. Brown, 2. Bread--Mrs: J. Tompkins, 1 ; Miss Tompkins, 2.

POULTRY.--Ducks--E. Stobie, 1 ; A. T. Anderson, 2. Turkeys--J. Doyle junr., 1 ; J. Doyle, 2. Brahmapootras--A. E. Walter, 1. Spanish fowls--A. E. Walter. 1. Dorkings--A E. Walter, 1 ; J. Hortle, 2. Cochins--A. E. Walter, 1 ; T. Cawker, 2. Game (black-reds)--G. Brown, 1 ; E. C. Graves, 2. Game (any other kind)--C. Pretlove, 1 ; J. M. Scott, 2. Andalusians--C. Pretlove, 1 ; J. Little, Stobie, 2.

SWINE.--Boar any age--C. Pretlove 1 ; J, M. Scott, 2. Sow any age--C. Pretlove, 1 ; J. Little, 2.

MACHINERY, &c.--Single-furrow plough--J. Doyle, jun., 1 ; G. Grant, 2. Double-furrow plough--J. Illingworth, 1 ; J. Grant, 2. Harrows--J. Grant, 1 ; J. Illingworth, 2. Farm Cart--Mrs. Nicholas, 1. Farm Waggon--J. Illingworth, 1 ; J. May, 2. Double-seated buggy--J. Stewart, 1 ; J. Illingworth, 2. Single buggy--J. Illingworth, 1. Cart harness--J. Peachy, 2. Waggonette double harness--J. Tompkins, 1. Single buggy harness--J. M. Scott, 2. Riding saddle and bridle--J. Sanderson, 1. Farm roller--E. Mitchell, 1. Small iron dip suitable for farmers--W. A. Cross, 1. Galvanised iron tank--W. A. Cross 1.

"The Portland Guardian" (Vic.) Friday, 12th September 1890.

Daryl Povey