agfest 2018
agfest 2018

What an amazing event! Despite having lived in Tasmania all my life, and Agfest having been running for some 35-years, 2018 was the first time I actually made it to the event. And it won’t be the last – what a great showcase for Tasmania on so many levels, including the fabulous organisation and the wonderful young people (and some older ones too) who make up The Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania who carries a significant burden of organising such a wonderfully run event. AGFEST is run by a volunteer committee of some 30 young Rural Youth members and ex-members; the average age is around 24 years with these enthusiastic volunteers giving up their time solely to make a significant contribution to agriculture in Tasmania by staging the best possible event. Starting at Symmons Plains Raceway in the early 1980s, the event soon outgrew this space and now is permanently located at Quercus Park, 415 Oaks Road Carrick on land that is some 200 acres in size. Agfest quite literally has something for everyone, no matter your age. And don’t for a minute think Agfest is simply about cockies having a day off the land and looking at the latest tractor, combine harvester or irrigation system! This year, Agfest attracted over 65,000 visitors with a staggering 709 exhibitors. I visited on Friday, and after some early rain and under threatening skies, I started off with the intention of seeing everything and being back on the road in 2-3 hours. Wrong. After arriving at 9am, I was still happily exploring and taking in all the sights, scenes smells, and sounds at 3pm. Several coffees, a hearty lunch from one of the many food outlets, and several stops to chat to long-lost acquaintances and it was time to head back South, with many exhibits still not having been visited. With sore feet, I found my way back to the car and once again was amazed at simply how effective the organisation was in managing so many vehicles leaving at the same time, but without sitting in a line of traffic. Congratulations to everyone involved, and I can’t wait to visit a bigger and better Agfest in 2019.