Champion farmer retiring
Champion farmer Carlton Smith of Content in St James has won multiple first-place awards at the Montpelier and Hague agricultural shows over the past 30 years, but after this year's upcoming shows, he plans to retire.
The 56-year-old Smith, who has become a familiar face at the St James-based Montpelier show and the Trelawny-based Hague show for his prize-winning cattle, told the WESTERN STAR that his decision to retire was influenced by his age.
"I get tired now, my body tired. So after I go to the next show, I am not going back. I will focus on just my regular farming. The people will miss me a lot, but that's how it has to go," said Smith.
"I feel proud of the years I spent in the agriculture shows. I never wanted to leave the shows, but I had to leave because I have no help with the animals," Smith added. "So I just decided to retire, stay at home, and do my own little thing."
Smith, who started farming at the age of 15 with a small vegetable plot on his family land, has won more than 300 awards during his time with the agricultural shows in western Jamaica.
These days, he is looking forward to the opening of a Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) branch office in Content so that farmers will not have to travel long distances to showcase their goods.
"Right now, we are trying to open the JAS office at the Content community centre because we want to use the centre as a showground. If the centre is fenced, we can have the show there, and each farmer can come out because it is closer to them," said Smith.