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Go rural in Tasmania – visit an Agricultural Show

28 September 2011 No Comment

Poultry exhibition at the Longford Agricultural ShowAgricultural shows are a fun family day out and a great way to learn about and sample Tasmanian local produce too.

The events are designed to promote Tasmania’s diverse agricultural industry, with exhibitions of horses, sheep, poultry, beef and dairy cattle, pigs, alpacas and more. There’s usually a ‘baby animal farmyard’ where kids can get hands on with cute chicks, lambs and calves and learn about farm life. Dog shows and agility contents are also popular. Locally produced items are on display in the cookery and craft competitions.

The wood chopping competition is a highlight of most Tasmanian agricultural shows. Be amazed at the strength and skill of axe men and women, young and not-so-young. Many national woodchopping champions have been born and trained in Tasmania, perhaps unsurprising given the island state’s strong forestry heritage.

Some of the biggest and best known shows in Tasmania are:

Huon Show
I am biased because this is my local show, but it is definitely a special event on the local calendar. The Ranelagh Showground (turnoff before Huonville, about 30 minutes south of Hobart) is in a very picturesque location in the Huon Valley.

Bream Creek Show
You’ll see this ‘small country show with a big country heart’ well advertised in and around Hobart before the event, so it’s hard to miss. The tiny town of Bream Creek is not far off the Arthur Highway (turn off at Copping), the road that leads to Port Arthur.

Royal Hobart and Royal Launceston
Both held in October, these large agricultural shows get their own public holiday in the part of the state where they are held.

AgFest
Held near Launceston over three days in May, AgFest is the mother of all agricultural shows, organised by Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania. It’s a mecca for anyone interested in livestock and farm machinery with many corporate exhibitors as well as local displays.

These are only a few of the 23 annual shows held around Tasmania each year. Perhaps there’s one that coincides with your planned visit to Tasmania? Check out the Agricultural Show Council of Tasmania web site  for a full list of dates and locations.

Susan Moore lives in Tasmania’s Huon Valley. She shares a glimpse of daily life in Tasmania, as written by a “blow in” from the mainland, on her fascinating site Houn View. Don’t forget to subscribe to receive her regular articles.

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