Belize’s national agriculture show began more than forty years ago when the seat of government was moved from Belize City to Belmopan. At the time Belizeans were still quite idealistic in our nationalism, and the feeling was that agriculture and agro-industries would be the mainstay of the Belizean economy. Back then, it was not foreseen that things like oil, tourism, real estate, and offshore banking would have the impact that they now have on the Belizean economy.
Our farmers and ranchers have lost their headline status at Agri to all the buy-and-sell businesses, such as telecommunications, which have taken advantage of the unique sales opportunities which Agri offers during its two spectacular weekend days. Exactly when agriculture became secondary to trade and business at Agri, we can’t say. But, we are not here to examine or denounce that change in Agri. What has been, has been.
We come to celebrate Agri today, for the sociological phenomenon that it is. It is the one annual event where Belizeans of all classes and ethnicities and colors and opinions, come together and mingle for an entire weekend. These Belizeans come from every single part of Belize, and it is Agri that offers the best opportunity for a bird’s eye view of the diversity which is Belize.
Agri is a big time family event, but Agri is also “meeting” season for Belize’s teenagers and young people. As such, Agri is a fashion event, of course, but, to repeat, Agri is a sociological phenomenon. Like Christmas, Agri comes but once a year. The heat of the sun, exacerbated by dust, is sometimes unbearable, but the youth of Belize don’t mind. Agri is where the boys and the girls are, and there is a special excitement involved with that. The innocent sexual electricity is high.
At this newspaper, we have to chronicle a lot of unhappy news throughout the year. Most of the bad news involves the aberrant behavior of elements of Belize’s young people. It is painful for us to report all the crime and violence among our youth, because we see where the larger society has failed these young people, beginning with their mis-education or non-education.
Agri is an annual medicine for our pain. Agri renews hope in all of us who love Belize. At Agri, we see the cream of Belize’s youth, and we see their energy. We can see that they have dreams about a Belizean future and a Belizean life where they will contribute to Belize and where they will be rewarded for these contributions. That is what we, the older folk, will see if we observe our youth at Agri.
For our youth themselves, as we previously said, Agri’s innocent sexual electricity is high. And, what’s wrong with that? This is the way how God designed us, as male and female to be attracted to each other, to love each other, and to create the relationships which will produce Belize’s new generations of families. At Agri, the socializing environment is unique and it is an eye-opener for Belize’s teenagers. It’s all good.
When you’re young, all you have to do is look at each other, and you experience excitement. At Agri, a lot of our young people will be looking and enjoying. It’s a fun time. No matter the various complaints, we love Agri. We have many good young people in Belize, and at Agri they see each other and feel the vibes.
Big up, Agri. Big up Belize’s young people.