On this page:
Terry Smith - Grazier
Pastoralists Association of West Darling Representative
Greg Lawrence - Grazier
Conceived in 1989, the first Agfair was held in May 1990.
Subsequent events have been held biennially in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Each event has attracted around 10,000 visitors over two days.
Agfair was admitted to the Association of Agricultural Field Days of Australasia in September 1995.
Agfair hosted the 18th AAFDA conference in Broken Hill on the 27th & 28th of October 2004. Delegates travelled from around Australia, and as far away as New Zealand, Tasmania, and New Caledonia.
Held in early May, Agfair is timed to fit into the national field days "circuit", and the optimum weather conditions in Broken Hill.
Philosophy and Structure
The original philosophy of a joint effort between the rural pastoral community and the residents of the City of Broken Hill has remained.
Consequently, both parties have enjoyed the hard work and the rewards, and Agfair has greatly assisted in bonding the communities together.
The management committee is also a partnership. Members are drawn from the Rotary Club of Broken Hill, the Pastoralists Association of the West Darling, as well as Citizen's representatives.
External expertise has also been a key to success, particularly marketing/publicity and event management support.
Agfair is a non-profit, community based organisation, which relies on considerable support from local volunteers.
The community from Broken Hill and surrounding districts have been very supportive of Agfair.
A considerable amount of time and materials have been donated each year to improve the site, and to make the event a success.
Local media, businesses and government agencies have also provided considerable support.
The spirit of co-operation has been evident in the sponsorship area, with Landmark and Elders sharing the major sponsorship.
Agfair in turn makes a significant contribution to local charities and sporting organisations.
No official study has been carried out.
However, with an (estimated) out of town visitor number of 5000, plus 7000 local visitors and around 300 exhibitors, the estimated economic impact on Broken Hill is around $1,500,000 per event.
Exhibitor History and Support
The majority of the major national field day exhibitors include Agfair on their programme.
Local traders have also been very supportive.
The total number of exhibitors have been around the 300 mark, with the committee not accepting registration from potential exhibitors that may be deemed inappropriate.
Agfair is unique in that a traditional "field days" concept has been enhanced to include attractions that appeal to residents of Broken Hill, surrounding districts, Pastoralists from outlying areas, and interstate visitors.
This formula was successful from day one and has been retained.
The appeal is broad based, but the underlying purpose being to facilitate successful field days for the benefit of Pastoralists and interests related to dry land agriculture.
Regular attractions include:
- Agricultural and horticultural displays
- Machinery and equipment displays
- Rural merchandise and clothing
- Exhibition pavilions
- Children's entertainment
The Woolshed is run by the Women's Interest Committee. The Woolshed has around 30 sites, staging to accommodate a celebrity chef.
Awards presented to Agfair and committee members since inception include:
1990 ~ Winner of the Sydney Morning Herald Outstanding Community Service Project Award. Agfair was chosen over 800 nominations.
1992 ~ Winner of the Rotary District 9520 Award for Best Community Service Project.
1996 ~ Winner of Rotary International Ivor Lewis Trophy for Public Relations.
1996 ~ Chairman Bruce Church received an Australia Day award for Community Service.
2003 ~ Chairman Kevin Taylor received an Australia Day Citizenship Award for outstanding service to the Broken Hill community.
2006 ~ Committee member Bruce Church received an OAM (Order of Australia Medal).
2007 ~ Committee member John Lawrence received an Australia Day Citizenship Award.
Contribution to the Agricultural Industry
Broken Hill has traditionally been perceived as a mining town, yet for more than a century, it has also been an important regional support centre for the pastoral industry, particularly in outback NSW.
Agfair set out to cater specifically for graziers and pastoralists of the region, (and from other regions).
It is the only event of it's type to cater for the outback, with particular emphasis on dry land agriculture.
The next Agfair will be held at the Broken Hill Racecourse on the 4th & 5th May 2018.
It is intended to keep the event biennial, with a similar format to the previous 14 events.