Agricultural Shows of Australia (ASA) has been working with the Federal Government to secure the future of agricultural shows and welcomes the the support of $30.9 million committed to agricultural shows, announced in late April.

Dr Rob Wilson, Chair of Agricultural Shows Australia (ASA) said that $30.9 million committed to the development of shows included some key ASA initiatives, namely their national programs including the Young Judges and Paraders Championships and the National NextGen Young Farmers Challenge.

“After a meeting with the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud – who is a former treasurer of his local show in Inglewood – at the Ekka last year, and a subsequent invitation to submit a proposal to the Minister regarding funding needs for key agricultural show initiatives, ASA is pleased that a Liberal-Nationals Government is actively ensuring agricultural shows remain a centrepiece of regional communities.”

“The ASA’s vision is for a strong and vibrant network of agricultural shows working together to engage, influence and promote the essential value of Australian agriculture and to provide a range of benefits and services to Agricultural Show societies, with its membership base consisting of Royal Agricultural Societies and State-based Agricultural Societies around the country,” Dr Wilson said.

“The Agricultural Shows movement contributes significantly to the Australian economy, culture and community with the economic value of Shows in Australia reaching in excess of $900 million annually, and the involvement of one-in-four Australians through either visitation or direct participation. Further, the service provided by Shows in connecting country and our rich and continuing agricultural heritage to our city communities, is unique and invaluable” commented Dr Wilson.

The National ASA Young Judges and Paraders Championships recognise and promote achievement in the areas of young judging and parading, farm skills and challenges to promote the essential value of agriculture to new generations.

The Young Farmers Challenge is a demonstration of the talent, skills, techniques and safe work practices that young farmers use every day and has been run in various forms at agricultural shows for decades in Australia.

Further Government support is for ASA’s educational program of sustainable agriculture and food production. This will build on the already substantial education and scholarships programs promoted by the large Royal Shows, to develop a network of education collaborators and resource material to involve schools and for use at regional shows and community events.

“The Agricultural Show movement across the 580 shows held annually, and their community stakeholders, provides a unique and far-reaching opportunity to promote and deliver the objectives of the program along with the unique, iconic and valuable contribution that agricultural shows provide and showcase”, explained Dr Wilson.