Rural expo set to impress

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Rural expo set to impress

Sheepvention Rural Expo, a cornerstone event in the agricultural calendar, has announced that entries for its prestigious competitions are now open.

The event, set to take place on August 4 and 5, promises to provide competitors with lots of rivalry whist celebrating the best in sheep breeding, farm dogs, wool handling, innovations and youth involvement in agriculture.

The Hamilton and Western District Sheep Show is renowned for showcasing the finest sheep breeds in the region.

The competition attracts top breeders who present their best stock, vying for recognition and awards that highlight their dedication to genetic excellence.

This year will showcase the Hampshire Downs as the feature breed.

The Virbac Ram Sale will again provide a platform for breeders to showcase and sell their top-quality rams.

This event draws buyers from across the nation, eager to invest in superior genetics to enhance their flocks.

The sale is a significant opportunity for breeders to gain recognition and for buyers to acquire some of the best rams available.

A highlight for many, the Coprice Victorian Farm Dog Championships will again exhibit the extraordinary skills of working dogs and their handlers.

This competition tests the agility, obedience, and intelligence of working dogs as they navigate sheep into yards, a thrilling event that demonstrates the vital role these dogs play in modern farming operations.

The Proway Wool Handling competition will again highlight the skills required in wool preparation.

Participants will demonstrate their ability to handle and prepare fleeces for market, focusing on speed, accuracy and presentation.

This event underscores the importance of wool handling in maintaining the high standards of the Australian wool industry.

Innovation is at the heart of the agricultural industry and the Inventions Competition celebrates this spirit.

Inventors and entrepreneurs are invited to showcase their cutting-edge technologies and solutions designed to advance farming practices.

From machinery to software, the competition provides a stage for groundbreaking ideas that could shape the future of agriculture.

The 2024 competition will see the launch of three new compressed categories: South West Tafe New Invention, Sinclair Wilson Improved & Modified Invention and the Rural Bank Primary School Invention.

Encouraging the next generation of agricultural experts, the Junior Judging competition offers young participants the chance to develop and demonstrate their judging skills.

This event is designed to educate and inspire youth, fostering their interest and expertise in sheep assessment.

Business and Events Manager Emmelie Nijskens said the program also aims to give students throughout the region a greater understanding of the careers available in the agriculture sector.

“As always, the event is a great opportunity for individuals to showcase their skills and innovations,” she said.

“Whether you’re a seasoned breeder, a talented farm dog handler, an expert in wool handling, an inventive entrepreneur, or an enthusiastic young judge, we encourage everyone to enter. We especially encourage young people to enter; everyone has to start somewhere and this is the perfect platform to gain experience and learn from local experts.”

Entries for these competitions are now open and the Sheepvention Rural Expo committee encourages all eligible participants to register early.

Meanwhile, the organising committee has announced a strategic decision to cancel this year’s ram sale.

Sheepvention president David Botterill said the proactive move was aimed at re-evaluating and enhancing the event for future success.

“The ram sale has long been a highlight of the annual event for over 40 years, drawing breeders and buyers from across the country,” he said.

“However, this year’s entries did not reach anticipated levels. Rather than proceeding with a suboptimal sale the committee has chosen to take this opportunity to regroup and come back stronger.

“The decision was made swiftly to provide vendors, sponsors, potential buyers and Sheepvention patrons with ample notice.”

Mr Botterill said despite the challenges, 2024 will still bring a fantastic Sheepvention event.

“We are disappointed that a longstanding aspect of Sheepvention has succumbed to the changing nature of ram sales, with the increase of on property sales and the post-Covid rise of online platforms,” he said.

“We are however still very excited to showcase the Merino breed through a number of merino stud exhibitors on display and the Merino Sheep Show.”

Mr Botterill said the decision presents an opportunity for the committee to gather feedback, explore new ideas, and implement strategies that will enhance interest and participation into the future.

“The committee is confident the cancellation will lead to improved and more exciting event components that continue to support and engage the agricultural community,” he said.

For more event information, please visit

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