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Early shows

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Early shows

'Agriculture' means 'working the land'. It is important because it produces many of the things we need to survive: fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, wool and more.

Farmers first

Agricultural shows, often called royal or country shows, started as a way for farmers to share ideas and learn about new farming methods and equipment.

Shows encourage better quality animals and crops by awarding prizes for everything from the best sheep or wheat sample to the tastiest apple and the biggest pumpkin. Some types of early competitions still exist today and many are open to children.

Click on the photos below for more information

  • A boy drinking milk from a bucket, with a cow at rear.
    Adelaide show
  • Row of school boys standing at a table with crates of apples on top.
    Apple-packing competition
  • Black and white photograph of farm machinery, including combine harvesters and ploughs. Several men dressed in suits inspect the machinery.
    Farm machinery
  • Black and white photograph showing a crowd of people looking skyward at a small wheatbag which has been flung high into the air, between two vertical poles.
  • Black and white photograph of people gathered around a grass field. Several men wearing white overcoats stand beside beef cattle. Crowds of people, standing and sitting, are watching the judging.
    Beef cattle
  • A woman standing between two large rams. The rams have prize ribbons draped over their backs.
    Winning rams
  • A photo of a first prize card from the 'Royal Agricuttural and Horticultural Society of South Australia', awarded to 'Mrs MJ McColive'  for 'Knee or Cot Rug, knitted or crocheted'.
    First prize certificate
  • Fabric quilt with green and cream patchwork squares embroidered by hand with Australian wildflower designs, and a recurring passionfruit vine flower design.
    Prize-winning wildflowers quilt
  • Red, white and blue rosette with three long felt ribbons extending from the base. Printed in yellow text is 'Royal Easter Show 1981, Best Exhibit, Beef Shorthorn Section'.
    Prize ribbon


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