As the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show shuts the gates for another year, the largest crowd in more than a decade has shown that interest in where our food and fibre comes from has never been stronger.
More than 914,000 people in 2017 experienced the very best of NSW agricultural produce, in the very heart of Sydney.
Hosted by the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW, the Show highlights the vital role agriculture plays in the health and wealth of our communities.
Almost 30,000 junior “farmers” got dirt under their fingernails and mud on their boots in “Little Hands on The Land”.
This new initiative took young people on a mini journey through Australian agriculture allowing them to pick apples, collect eggs, milk cows, and dig up vegetables as part of this unique and educational experience.
In the ever-popular Farmyard Nursery, visitors saw almost 2,500 chicks being hatched, and watched on as the working dairy produced 35,000 litres of milk.
1,700 head of premium cattle called Homebush home, while in the Sheep and Fleece Pavilion, wool valued at more than $11 million was sold in the two-day onsite auction.
RAS of NSW President, Robert Ryan OAM, said he was delighted to see such strong interest in the animals and produce on display.
“The Show exists to help the wider community understand and value sustainable Australian agriculture and award-quality produce,” Mr Ryan said.
“While the Show obviously has to have activities and displays that appeal to a wide and diverse demographic, we never lose sight of the need to continually promote agricultural excellence in NSW.
“In 2017 more than 19,000 awards were presented in our Sydney Royal competitions, which included the best of the best from all breeds of animals, wine, food, dairy, horticulture, and art.”
“The premium agriculture on display here has also been a tour stop for international delegations, with representatives from China, USA, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Brunei visiting the Show to connect with the Australian beef and dairy industries, goat and horse breeders, and food and wine traders,” Mr Ryan said.
The RAS of NSW is a not-for-profit organisation and revenue generated through events such as the Sydney Royal Easter Show allows the RAS to invest nearly $7m back into agricultural programs, competitions, education and youth initiatives, and rural communities.
In addition, in 2017 3,500 “Ag Bags”, which sold out and were full of donated Australian product, raised $70,000 for the RAS Foundation. These funds will be funnelled into regional grants and scholarships.
Even the profits from the record-breaking 51,000 scones produced by the famous CWA Tearoom will be directed to community projects across NSW.
On top of all the agricultural highlights, Show foods, Show rides and showbags were again hugely popular with showgoers.
- Around 1.5 million showbags were sold
- More than 10,000 deep fried lasagne on a stick (new to 2017) were sold
- 4,500 fairy floss flowers (new to 2017) were sold
- “Burger Head” in the new Stables sold more than 10,000 burgers
- “Balls by Jimmy Liks” (also in Stables) sold about 42,000 meatballs
- 12,600 waffles on a stick sold
- 140,000 cheese toasties sold
- Show rides were enjoyed more than 1.6 million times by showgoers
- The Beast (new to 2017) ran 40,300 times
- Nitro Coaster (new to 2017) made 1,728 runs
- On Main Arena, Murray Wilkinson whistled to his working dogs 1,400 times
- Five tonnes of fireworks were used during the night time entertainment.