Field days and Ag shows get to share in $25 million emergency funding

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To ensure besieged agricultural shows and field days front up again in 2022 they have a chance at free funding worth $25 million

To make sure small but vital events such as the Cunnamulla Fella Roundup Festival – a four-day celebration of country spirit take place in 2022 – committees are urged to make a claim against the $25 million available in Round 2 of the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program

The Federal Government is providing $25 million to help agricultural shows and field days bounce back post-pandemic and continue to deliver local events within their communities.  

Round 2 of the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program will open soon and the Supporting Showmen and Women Program will also be extended for an additional year.

COVID-19 has forced more than 700 agricultural shows and field days to cancel since March 2020 when the pandemic squashed any further chance of local shows and field days.

And while every show and field days committee put on a brave face for their 2021 events to go ahead, it has resulted instead into a further round of cancellations for all concerned.

As a result, our show societies and field day organisers have incurred significant financial losses for two consecutive years. Without these events they’ve got no way to cover their costs.

A group that has been particularly hard hit is the travelling showmen and women, often small, independent, sole-traders or family-based operations that follow every show. They have had no income for over two years.

The flow-on effects to local communities will also be felt for years.

Under Round 1 of the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program the government provided $34.5 million to 378 show societies and field day organisers who cancelled in 2020.

Now a further $25 million is being paid out up to back these iconic events and to help ease cash flow pressures for event organisers and provide rent relief to showmen and women who bring life and colour to the shows.

Agricultural shows and field days contribute more than $1 billion to the economy annually, attract more than 6 million patrons annually, and are supported by more than 50,000 volunteers and more than 4,000 showmen and women.

These events deliver significant social benefits to rural and regional Australia, bringing heart, soul and a sense of pride to towns across the country.

The $25 million available in Round 2 of the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program to 30 June 2022, will provide $21 million for the operational costs of shows and field days cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19.

Plus, an additional $4 million has been earmarked towards the Supporting Showmen and Women Program to 30 June 2022 and will be used towards reimbursing showground rent paid by showmen and women.

Stay tuned for details of how to make a claim in Round 2 of the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program.

As with the previous Round 1 claims, it will up to each individual agricultural shows and field days committee to make a claim, or they will miss out. Expect application details to emerge soon on this link.