After being forced to cancel the Seymour Show as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Seymour Agricultural and Pastoral Society has received a $15,000 Federal Government grant to hit the ground running for the 2021 edition.
Almost $230,000 of the $34 million Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program was given to agricultural societies in the Nicholls electorate to help them bounce back from a difficult year.
Seymour Agricultural and Pastoral Society president Jason Ronald said the money would be used to reimburse the society for expenses already paid in preparation for the 2020 show before its cancellation.
“There are a number of things that are paid every year such as insurance, fees, memberships and other things like that and we were able to claim for that, so that money will put us in a reasonable financial position to do next year’s show,” he said.
“It’s fantastically important to all the agricultural societies … because it means we’re in a position to start the year off the same way we would have if we had a successful show.
“It’s certainly encouraging and allows us to plan to have a big a show as we normally do and come back strong from the pandemic that’s been such a disaster around the globe.”
Mr Ronald said with COVID-19 restrictions slowly being eased, the society hoped to have a significant number of patrons through the gates by October 2021.
“We’ve got examples of 25,000 people being allowed at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test so hopefully things will improve, and we’ll be able to have the number we normally get to our show through our gates,” he said.
“I think the Royal Easter Show in Sydney is looking at 60,000 people through their gates each day so if that’s the case, I don’t think we’re going to have a problem by October next year.”
Member for Nicholls Damian Drum said shows were uniquely Australian and provided huge economic benefits to local communities, as well as opportunities for the businesses and services that exhibit.
“They also help to maintain our farmers’ competitive edge by providing an outlet for new ideas, new technologies and new ways of working to be shared,” he said.
“I am very pleased so many important organisations in Nicholls are able to access this funding to help get them through this tough period and out the other side in a sound position to host again in 2021.”