Under Round 2 of the Supporting Agriculture Shows and Field Days Program, an additional $25 million will go towards agricultural shows across Australia. 
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud unveiled the extension of the program on Tuesday at the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) showgrounds, praising the initiative for bringing “the city and country together”. 
The federal government has committed $25 million to agricultural shows across Australia to keep operators and showmen and women on their feet following COVID-19 induced closures. Picture: Getty Images
Of the $25 million: 
$12 million will go to rural shows in the Ekka, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide
$9 million will go to rural and regional shows to help with ongoing costs 
$4 million will be directed to the Showman’s Guild – with their rent to be covered at local shows 
Mr Littleproud said shows such as the Ekka – Queensland’s annual agriculture show, or the Royal Queensland Show – would return next year, with the federal funding to help operators back on their feet. 
“This is about making sure that agriculture shows continue. Like here at the Ekka, it brings the city and country together,” he told reporters. 
“It’s an important conduit of the city and country coming together and removing that divide that’s been there. This is about making sure that people in metropolitan areas particularly, understand where their food and fibre comes from and what we do and how we do it out there.
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“I think this is a great investment, not only for agriculture, but for the rural shows in what they do promoting agriculture and keeping us all going.” 
A media release from the Agriculture Minister detailed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector, having caused the cancellation of more than 700 agriculture shows and field days across the country. 
Mr Littleproud said the Ag shows and field days generated more than $1 billion for the national economy, attracted more than six million visitors and were supported by more than 50,000 volunteers and more than 4,000 showmen and women. 
“They deliver significant social benefits to rural and regional Australia, bringing heart, soul and a sense of pride to towns across the country,” he said.  
“Our travelling showmen and women – often small, independent, sole-traders or family-based operations – are particularly hard hit. The flow-on effects to local communities will be felt for years.” 
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CEO of the RNA Brendan Christou welcomed the additional funding on Tuesday alongside Mr Littleproud, thanking the federal government for shoring up certainty for the sector.
“It’s critical to ensure that the Ag show movement can continue into the future and stays alive. Since last year, this funding has enabled many show societies to cover some of those cancellation costs that otherwise would have been unrecoverable,” he said. 
Mr Christou said it was a “crucial cash injection” which had enabled them to continue running.  
“Ag shows are the lifeblood of our communities … One in five Australians attend an Ag show each year,” he said. 
“This funding is an amazing show of support for the bush, and particularly for our farming communities and exhibitors who look forward to coming to the city each year to showcase the best of the best in agriculture.” 
Under Round 1 of the Supporting Agriculture Shows and Field Day Program, the government provided $34.5 million to 378 show societies and field day organisers who were cancelled in 2020. 
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