This article originally appeared online for The Land

ASA Chair Rob Wilson with Agriculture Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie

Cash is set to flow for agricultural show societies across the country, as the Prime Minister opens applications for a $20 million fund to upgrade showgrounds and build new attractions.

Scott Morrison will launch the Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants at the Burnie show in Tasmania on Friday.

He said agricultural local shows can provide an important boost to local tourism for drought-hit towns.

“Agricultural shows are at the heart and soul of our regional communities. They bring communities together and they keep communities together,” Mr Morrison said.

“Agricultural shows are also important events that encourage people from cities and regional centres to better understand where their food and fibre comes from.

“Even the most skilled and hardworking community volunteers can’t keep a show going alone. You need support, and you need proper infrastructure.”

Local show societies and state and territory agricultural show peak bodies can apply for grants up to $500,000 to upgrade, maintain, buy or build new showground infrastructure and attractions.

Agriculture Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie said the funding would ensure communities can continue staging their local shows-and other events such as pony clubs and farmers markets.

“Most of the 580 agricultural shows held annually in Australia are regionally based and they bring communities closer together especially in times of drought and other hardships,” she said.

“But we know that showgrounds regularly face challenges of ageing infrastructure and expensive repair bills.”

Applications close on December 13.

The story Funding available for agricultural shows first appeared on The Standard.