THE Gatton and Emerald show societies are two of 13 agricultural organisations across Australia which have received funding to promote young farmer challenges.
An initiative of the peak body for the 580 agricultural shows across the nation, Agricultural Shows Australia, the Australian Young Farmer Challenge Regional Grant Program helps shows invest in 'young farmer challenges', a showcase of young people competing in diverse and colourful challenges testing skill, technique, knowledge and safety practices.
Young farmer challenges can involve changing tyres, driving tractors, handling alpacas, identifying cattle breeds, putting out fires, torniqueing faux snakes bites, erecting fences and myriad other farming tasks in teams, against the clock and in front of a crowd.
Agricultural Shows Australia executive officer Katie Stanley said the grant program required successful recipients to outline their plans for a sustainable competition in their local area or across their state.
"These competitions allow young rural people to take centre stage with their mates in front of the crowds at agricultural shows, while demonstrating the diverse skills needed to be a modern farmer," Ms Stanley said.
"Shows use this competition to entertain crowds while being an educational showcase of young people in agriculture."
The 2020-21 grant program awarded more than $75,000 in sponsorship impacting over 40 competitions at different shows over the next 18 months.
"These competitions provide entertainment and crowd engagement as well education for the broader community about agriculture, food and more specifically, the role of farmers and farm safety," Ms Stanley said.
"The purpose of the program is to support the sharing of knowledge, encourage community initiatives and promote community leadership."
The successful organisations are:
- Gatton Show Society, Queensland.
- Emerald Show Society, Queensland.
- The Ag Group South Coast and Tablelands including shows in Albion Park, Berry, Bowral, Bulli, Camden, Dapto, Kangaroo Valley, Kiama, Milton, Moss Vale, Nowra, Picton and Robertson, NSW.
- Tenterfield Show Society, NSW.
- Agricultural Societies Council of NSW - Group 3 which includes shows in Bulahdelah, Gosford, Cessnock, Dungog, Gresford, Maitland, Merriwa, Morisset Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Singleton, Stroud, Upper Hunter and Wyong Shire, NSW.
- Kempsey Show Society, NSW.
- Taree Show Society, NSW.
- Bellinger River Agricultural Show Society, NSW.
- The South Australian Agricultural Shows Next Generation Group.
- Mundulla Show, South Australia.
- Parndana Show, South Australia.
- The Royal Agricultural Society, Victoria.
- The Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia's next generation group.
The project is jointly funded by Agricultural Shows Australia and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment's Building Landcare Community and Capacity component of the National Landcare Program.
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