Generations Of Tradition & Pride!

Written by Elizabeth A Nixon JD – Editor & Content Manager, Royal Agricultural Society of NSW




Depending on who you ask, the annual Sydney Royal Easter Show is many things. 

For some it is the annual family holiday when everyone comes together from places scattered all around the country. For others it is the continued tradition of showing stud animals, donating to the district exhibits or entering the arts & crafts competitions. Wherever you go, from woodchop stadium, to the cattle judging lawns and from horse marshalling, to the sheep and poultry pavilions. There is more going on than a particular competitor engaged in the latest round of judging. Each person represents generations of both family tradition and regional pride.

Grand Parade

The iconic legacy of Australia’s largest agricultural show boasts not only 200 years and multiple royal visits through the generations, it also enjoys having stayed on track with the original mission handed down from the founders, whose initial prospectus purpose was simply to preserve the emerging colony.

Perhaps it is not overstating it to say that the original mission continues—to preserve the nation by forging agriculture through competitions that impact industry markets, strive for excellence in agriculture, and drive agri-tech innovation.

It is the competitors themselves who are the proof in the pudding. Returning year-after-year, entering competitions armed with advice and direction from the previous year’s judging comments, determined to improve their product quality, which in turn increases market value.

Truth be told, whether it is the Sydney Royal Easter Show or any local regional show, the purpose and impact is the same—forging the future of Australian agriculture. 

When attending an ag show, this grand mission may not be obvious at first given all the fun to be had—from camp drafting and rodeo entertainment to carnival rides, famously fried fair food, and delicious baking competitions. But the reality is that our faithful farmers and exhibitors serve the greater need of the country by showing up at ag shows. 

While there is much regional pride at stake in every judging circle, the ultimate goal of every ag show is to improve the quality of food that Australians are able to put on their plate and the quality of the fibre woven into their every day.

Ag shows across Australia showcase this kind of long-term commitment to excellence and also provide a necessary platform for focus and momentum across agriculture industries. And while ag shows are the big picture of Australian agriculture, they are collectively like a tile mosaic—made up of thousands of individuals, without whom there would be no bigger picture, no Australian agricultural industry.

Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Patron of the Sydney Royal Easter Show, said “since its inception [the Sydney Royal Easter Show] has been a place of celebration and connection, a forum for excellence that showcases the best of New South Wales agriculture and contributes significantly to our State’s economic and social wellbeing.” This could be said of every regional ag show, and I believe the Governor would whole-heartedly agree.

There is much to look forward to as our nation’s agriculture, already some of the very best in the world, only continues to improve, ensuring the quality of Australian food and fibre for generations to come. And that’s where all ag shows big and small place their focus—the future. 

At the 2023 Sydney Royal Easter Show, there were 22,400 entries and a total of 15,000 trophies, certificates and medals awarded. While it would be great to include photos of every winner at the Sydney Royal this year, perhaps the best ones to highlight are the ones that show us the future—our next generation of rural farmers and agriculture leaders. It is in their hands that the future of Australian agriculture rests, and we have every reason to be proud and at ease in their hands.