In the early to mid 19th Century, farmers all over the country were forming Societies to promote the science of crop husbandry and animal breeding. One of these was the Usk Farmers' Club, founded in 1844, by a group of "leading Agriculturalists" as the minute book records.
Its earliest event was a ploughing match. These were popular competitions and social occasions to demonstrate the necessary skills. In time these were expanded to include classes for the crops so produced, particularly root crops. A natural progression was to include competitions for farm animals, and before long the ladies of the house thought their domestic skills were worthy of demonstration. Such gatherings became popular social occasions where friends met and even argued over the exhibits and the judge’s conclusions.