Victoria's biggest farming event will be back in 2022 after frustrating cancellations over the past two years.
The Hamilton Pastoral and Agricultural Society announced the annual Sheepvention Rural Expo will return to the Hamilton Showgrounds from Sunday July 31 to Tuesday August 2, with the organisation appointing Emmelie Nijskens as its new business and events manager to oversee the show.
Ms Nijskens said she had already been fielding countless enquiries from exhibitors and excited locals. "In the Hamilton area people are really interested," she said.
"We are probably expecting around a 15 per cent drop off in trade registrations because of businesses closing during the pandemic, but we've had great interest so far."
Ms Nijskens said there may also be a slight drop in patronage, but was still expecting at least 20,000 people over the event. She said it was a lot to organise.
"All those big pieces of the puzzle are in place, like the major tenders. It's all the smaller things that we're trying to lock away now," she said.
Staffing such a huge event was one of the challenges she was still grappling with, especially as organisations around the country struggle for paid and unpaid workers.
"We are definitely always looking for extra volunteers, so anyone who is interested should get in touch" she said.
Another challenge was keeping the show profitable in the face of skyrocketing infrastructure costs.
"We've been working on adjusting the layout to keep it profitable, which is a big adjustment for a show that hasn't changed much in 40 years," Ms Nijskens said.
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Among the highlights in store for the event were the Hamilton and District Sheep Show, the ram sale, wool handling, and farm dog championships, as well as the hundreds of trade exhibitors.
Ms Nijskens said the new role was a dream job for her, coming from a south-west farming background and working in event management for several years.
"I'm very new to the sheep industry, so that's a lot to get my head around, but it has been great," she said.
She said she was expecting a great show.
"Other recent events in other parts of the state have been really successful, so hopefully that's a good sign."
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