The Young Farmer Challenge training will be a big focus of the Agricultural Societies Council Next Generation.THE next generation of country show stalwarts are being recruited to boldly go where no other youth have gone before.
In a push to attract more youth involvement in shows, the Agricultural Societies Council (ASC) of NSW Youth Group has been rebranded to become the ASC of NSW Next Generation.
The rebranding has been launched on social media in recent weeks, and advocates will spread the word at various zone events across the State for The Land Sydney Showgirl competition.
ASC of NSW Next Generation president Amy Pursehouse, West Wyalong, said rebranding the movement was to strengthen the membership, and encourage more youth to become actively involved in their local show societies.
Mrs Pursehouse said since the social media campaign started the response has been encouraging.
More members had joined since then, boosting numbers to about 200 across the State.
Mrs Pursehouse said she recognised young people were often very busy with full time work commitments.
“We are working with the local show societies and youth to encourage more membership,” she said.
“We needed to regroup and look at the direction, and we now have a good list of ideas and potential events to run.”
These include Young Farmer Challenge training and resources for show societies that would like to be involved.
Other initiatives include junior judging workshops for school aged youth, to encourage them to be actively involved in their local show.
Last year, at the Farming Small Areas Expo at Hawkesbury Showground, Clarendon, a Youth in Shows training seminar was also run with great success, she said.
Castle Hill Show Society president and ASC director Peter Gooch said youth were often time-poor these days and show show societies could find it hard to attract younger members.
But there have been a lot of encouraging initiatives.
“The young farmer challenges have really taken off,” he said.
Mr Gooch said the challenge many show societies often faced was retaining their youth.
He said Next Generation was a good move to try and achieve this retention and more youth membership in local shows.
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