200 years of agriculture on show at Easter


First held in 1823, the Sydney Royal Easter Show is an iconic celebration of Australian culture. As Australia's largest annual ticketed event, it attracts an average of 861,000 people each year.

Each year for 12 days over Easter, the country and city come together to enjoy agricultural competitions, animal experiences, entertainment and carnival fun.

The Show is run by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS NSW), a non-profit organisation that promotes and rewards agricultural excellence. The Sydney Royal Easter Show allows the RAS NSW to continue investing in agricultural programs, scholarships and supporting rural communities in Australia. Since it was founded in 1822, the RAS NSW has been an influential force in the direction and development of Australian agriculture.

RAS NSW is committed to supporting agricultural development and rural communities in Australia by generating revenue through its businesses which is ploughed back into agriculture and encourages the sustainable development of Australia’s agriculture.

This year, a vast range of agricultural displays are on show including the much loved District Exhibits Competition where five districts across NSW and South East Queensland gather the best produce from their region to display in a unique design, to Thank a Farmer Day, intent on elevating farmer’s stories of resilience and passion to an urban audience and the media.

There will also be a technology-assisted form of agriculture showcased in Orana Parade at the Show, where the University of New England (UNE) has set up its “Farm of the Future” display.

The hands-on introduction to a technology-powered agriculture allows visitors to program and test-drive a driverless tractor, or observe how new sensors and data analytics are changing crop and livestock production in ways once beyond imagining.

Agriculture has encouraged technological advances, and technology has driven farming developments, but that process has recently accelerated to an incredible degree.

“The result is nothing less than a revolution in humanity’s relationship with the land.” says David Lamb, McClymont Distinguished Professor – Research at UNE.

“When we can cheaply monitor plants and animals, and analyse the data generated using algorithms and artificial intelligence, we can minimise things that reduce production, like pests and disease, and maximise things that enhance production, like animal behaviour and application of nutrients.”

“We already have more technological capability than we have been able to absorb, and the innovations keep coming. If we implemented the full capability of digital agriculture that we have available to us now, we would increase productivity by 25 per cent and the value of Australia’s agricultural production by about $25 billion.”

Image courtesy of the Royal Easter Show website.

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