JMR WITH AGRICULTURE MINISTER LITTLEPROUD

• Applications open for the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program.

• COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on agricultural shows and field days, with most cancelled for 2020.

• Agricultural shows and field days contribute more than $1 billion to the economy each year but rely largely on financial assistance from supporters and attendees.
COVID-19 hit show societies in regional Victoria can now apply for a one-off payment under the Australian Government’s $39 million Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program.

The program provides operational support for agricultural shows societies and organisers of agricultural field days forced to cancel their scheduled show or field day in 2020 because of COVID-19.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud and Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said local agricultural show societies have until 9 October 2020 to apply under the first funding round.

“These truly Aussie events bring our families and farmers together, build community spirit and help bridge the divide between country and city,” Minister Littleproud said.

“They contribute more than $1 billion to the national economy each year, attract more than six million patrons and are supported by more than 50,000 volunteers.
“That is why this Government is investing $39 million in support to help them deal with cash flow pressures caused by COVID-19 cancellations and ensure their future.”

Senator Henderson encouraged eligible local show societies to apply as soon as possible.

“This is a welcome initiative to ensure great local events can recover and continue supporting the economy and rich agricultural heritage of regional Victoria.
“I want to assure local communities and the dedicated volunteers who work so hard to stage these events that the Australian Government is with them all the way during these times.

“Agricultural shows and field days that have cancelled their event in 2020 because of COVID 19 will be eligible to apply and they will not have to compete for assistance.

“I encourage show societies and field day organisers to jump on the Government’s Community Grants Hub or GrantConnect sites now to check their eligibility and apply.”

Chair of Agricultural Shows Australia Dr Rob Wilson welcomed the opening of applications and urged agricultural show societies forced to cancel their 2020 show to apply.

“Agricultural shows have been impacted by COVID-19 and this financial support will assist planning to begin for shows in 2021 and will provide the local communities the confidence to engage and participate, to ensure these Australian iconic events to continue,” Dr Wilson said.

“We know agricultural shows are important to regional and metropolitan Australia as they provide community connections and wellbeing as well as encouraging agricultural education through competition and benchmarking of agricultural pursuits and produce.

“This program supports Agricultural shows and field days across the country, right down to the smallest country show.”

Secretary of the Association of Agricultural Field Days of Australasia Ms Wendy Franklin also welcomed the opening of applications.

“Regrettably, COVID-19 has caused almost all agricultural field days in Australia to be cancelled in 2020. This has created financial difficulty for organisers of these important events,” Ms Franklin said.

“I welcome this program because it will provide the funding that many agricultural field day organisers will need to keep their events running in a post-COVID-19 environment.

“This is good news not just for field days but the important agricultural industries they support.”

For more information click onto the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program webpage here.

Fast Facts
• Agricultural show societies and field day organisers will have until 9 October to apply.
• Operational support will be available for eligible show societies and agricultural field day organisers.
• Funds will be reimbursed for eligible expenses, with the maximum grant value based upon the size of the event:
o up to $10,000 for small shows/field days (attendance was less than 2,000)
o up to $15,000 for medium shows/field days (attendance was between                        2,000 and 4,999)
o up to $70,000 for large shows/field days (attendance was over 5,000).
• Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program funding is being provided under the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund, led by the Deputy Prime Minister, which is helping regions, communities and industry sectors disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

18 September 2020