The Stawell Agricultural Society's hopes for a 2022 Stawell Show have grown with a more positive COVID outlook and the chance for some new funding on the horizon.
However, new faces and volunteers will be needed if the Stawell Agricultural Society wants to be able to host their biggest day of the year in 2022.
In October a federal government announcement confirmed an allocation of $34.5 million under Round One of the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days program.
Stawell Show organiser Lois Trimble and Stawell Agricultural Society president Don Brown said their group will be trying hard to get their hands on some of the funding.
"We haven't submitted an application for funding yet, we haven't seen the details of the program, but when we do we will be looking at our options in regards to the funding," Mrs Trimble said.
"The funding could really help us especially with getting entertainment.
"Booking in entertainment is so expensive on the day, even if it is just to have some smaller things.
"We missed out on our two shows, but we have also missed out on our monthly markets.
"The funding might also help with the putting together our show guides for the day or other costs associated with the show."
Since then the Society have seen some new faces jump on board, with plans for a 2022 Stawell Show in motion.
But Mrs Trimble said the Society are looking for more volunteers, specifically new leaders to run certain elements of the show experience.
"We decided early in the year to cancel because of our lack of numbers. The people on our committee decided it was going to be too much until we got some more support," she said.
"When shows first started a lot of people that came into show societies were young farmers.
"We need some more help from the agricultural side of the show.
"All the particular parts of the show have different organisers on the day and so we need more leaders to run the different sections.
"Whether that is organising, entertainment or different competitions, we need people for each specialty."
The Stawell Show runs annually in October with around 2000-3000 people ticking through the gates.
Mrs Trimble and Mr Brown said after the decision to cancel the 2021 show was made they heard from the community how much the event meant to them.
They encouraged anyone interested to come along to their next monthly meeting (third Wednesday of each month) on November 17 or to get in contact with the Stawell Agricultural Society.
"People who want to get involved will join a fabulous committee and community and they will be able to add something else to what is one of the biggest community days we have," Mrs Trimble said.
"The shows gives agricultural people from the region the chance to come in and show off their work to the rest of the community."
"When we decided to cancel it, we soon found out how how much it meant to the community," Mr Brown said.
"A lot of them were asking why, why, why.
"And we had to tell them we just didn't have enough people to help get it up and going."
"We want to run a show next year one way or another."
As part of their plans for 2022, the Stawell Agricultural Society have joined up with primary school in the area, encouraging students to submit their design for the 2022 Stawell Show schedule booklet.
Federal Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan said the government funding will be eligible for 378 show societies and field day organisers who cancelled in 2020.
"We are continuing to back these iconic events with another $25 million to help ease cash flow pressures for event organisers," Mr Tehan said.
"Industry needs confidence and certainty to push through these times and be ready on the other side to contribute to the agriculture's $100 billion by 2030 target.
"Our agricultural shows and field days make a significant social and economic contribution to my electorate
and hundreds of Australian communities. The shows and field days support farm innovation and the productivity and profitability of our agricultural industries," said Mr Tehan.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said another $25 million is being provided under the Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days and Supporting Showmen and Women programs.
"COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of more than 700 show and field day events since early 2020," Minister Littleproud said.
"They have incurred significant financial losses for two consecutive years.
"Those hit hardest are the local showmen and women - often small, independent, sole-traders or family-based operations that cannot absorb the costs
"Agricultural shows and field days are supported by more than 50,000 volunteers and about 4,000 showmen and women."
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