AGFEST- Tasmanias premier farming event
If you have not made plans for the first week in May, lock in a visit to Agfest. Held annually, 2018 marks 35 years running for one of Tasmania's much loved and highly anticipated three day events. We think its one of the best events for families in Tasmania, and love going every year!
Images L-R: Saying hello to the calves at Agfest 2017; cutesy of Jeanette via Instagram. | Visiting the horses at Agfest 2017; cutesy of Danni Clark via Instagram.
Located at Quercus Park just out of Launceston, Agfest 2018 will be held next Thursday 3rd, Friday 4th and Saturday 5th May. If your family has never been before its an amazing day out (they recommend two days) with loads of family friendly activities, displays, animal shows, tractors, trucks, pony rides, shopping, crafts, cars, caravans, deliciously divine food and so, so much more! The volunteer committee who organise the multi-million dollar event pride themselves on providing something for everyone, so no matter what the age or interest you're bound to be in for a real treat!
Agfest has been proudly organised by Rural Youth Tasmania since 1983; a non-profit organisation whose volunteer members are aged between 15 and 30. To really know the ins and outs of this years event, we went straight to the source and caught up with Rural Youth Member, Ash, from Agfest 2018. Check out what she has to say below! At the end of our article you'll find a direct link to book tickets and to the Agfest website for the latest up to date info.
Images L-R: Aerial views of Agfest. Cutesy of Agfest Field Days
TASSIE4KIDS: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us, Ash. Tell us a little bit about what you do as part of the team: ASH: No worries! I am the Youth Development Coordinator for Agfest 2018. This role includes coordinating school engagement, Ag Artwear and the KAAP marquee. This will be my first Agfest and I can’t wait!
For those who may not know, what does Agfest mean? It is short for 'Agricultural festival'.
Images L-R: Tasmanian Fire Service Display, Agfest 2017; cutesy of Katie MacFarlane via Instagram. | Australian Army Tank, Agfest 2017; cutesy of Kat via Instagram.
What would you say to the mums and dads who think Agfest is just for farming families? Agfest has something for everyone! The craft, the food, the activities, the entertainment are all top notch at this years event. Agfest is the perfect opportunity for children to learn about food and fiber, where it comes from, and, how important it is in a fun and engaging way. Parents might learn a thing or to as well!
What’s new for this year? New for 2018 is the addition of the Quercus Park Kennel Club who will be showcasing and demonstrating all things dog showing. We also have our first Agfest boat show which will showcase new vessel releases and the latest in engine technology. The Junior Beef handling Expo and Quercus Park kennel club are also new features for 2018.
A number or areas have also undergone a revamp with a new roadway having been put in to the Equine area, meaning you can go straight there from the carpark now to watch the fantastic lineup of talent perform. Craft is now spread out into four Pavilions, with two of them filled with Tasmanian artists. A pavilion is dedicated to home wares. There is also a new Business and Lifestyle expo to explore.
Images L-R: Engaging Kids activities, at Agfest 2017; and face painting, returning again Agfest 2018; cutesy of Agfest Field Days.
For the families with kids who love animals? Animal loving children will also enjoy the Quercus Park Kennel club displays, working dog displays and the Junior livestock handling. Head up towards the KAAP marquee and Rural Youth Feature as there will be a range of nursery animals. Also I did hear that there may be a few ponies around Equine. The Beef Expo will also have some cattle on site, as well as watching the bullock display.
Images L-R: Bullocks Display, Agfest 2017; cutesy of Agfest Field Days. | Watching the Bullocks at Agfest 2017; cutesy of Leanne Heys via Instagram.
Tractors and Trucks – so many kids love them. Is there a place for the kids to get up close? Yes, kids will be able to walk straight up to the tractor and truck displays (with there parents keeping an eye on them). There are plenty of them all over the site. They will also be able to see how things used to be done in the heritage display. There is also cars and boat displays, too, and the 4x4 track will have impressive performances happening daily with plenty of mud and big vehicles.
What have you got in store for the younger kids this year, Ash? Make sure they grab a Learning Passport or Learning Trail Map at the entry gates to complete throughout the day. This will guide them around the site to some fantastic and engaging displays. They will also love the animals, jumping castle, face painting, trucks and tractors.
Images L-R: A giant MACK truck, at Agfest 2017; and dozers, diggers and excavators galore, both returning again at Agfest 2018; cutesy of Agfest Field Days.
Can you get around with a pram? Of course! The roads hold up well to rain and foot traffic and we have provided a number of ramps to help access to sites in case of mud.
And for the older kids? For Families with teenagers, the Craft Pavilions and Unique Taste Pavilion are sure to be a hit along with shopping for clothes, craft and new things to decorate their bedrooms. Older teenagers can leave feeling motivated by the University of Tasmania site whilst the RACT are on site spreading an important message about road safety with an interactive crash simulator. There is also the opportunity to learn about where their food and fiber comes from and how innovators and technology is transforming agriculture.
Now, Ash. Selfies are all the rage these days. Wheres the best spot for a family snap? There are so many places for a selfie! I think families may struggle to only take one! We are quite sure the photo album will be a little bit fuller after Agfest! But for the ultimate selfie, you can’t go past one in a helicopter flying over the site. We'd love to see your photos so tag #Agfest2018, #agfestfielddays. (Dont forget us: #tassie4kids)!.
Images L-R: The Komatsu Tractors Display, Agfest 2017; cutesy of Erin via Instagram. | Little 'Shoppers' at Agfest 2016; cutesy of cutesy of Agfest Field Days.
For families that have never been before, how long will they need to spend at Agfest? I suggest that at least one full day is needed; be prepared for a big day as there is a lot to see and do. If you have two days to spare- even better!
What should they wear and should they bring anything? Bring layers and a sense of adventure! Warm shoes are always a must but clothing layers that you can put on if the clouds come or take of if the sun shines. You will walk lots of kilometers so above all, make sure you are comfortable. Most kids wear thier gum boots!
Images L-R: Lasoo practice, at Agfest 2017; and the annual wood chopping championship; both returning again at Agfest 2018; cutesy of Agfest Field Days.
Can families purchase lunch, snacks and drinks at Agfest or can they bring their own? Both. There UTaste Pavilion always has an amazing array of Tasmanian produce, however there are local clubs such as Lions and school vans dotted throughout the site as well.
You mentioned earlier that it can be a big day, so an early start is recommended. Do you have awesome coffee for the mums and dads? There are coffee vendors near each major area of the site and in most avenues. Grab a site guide on entry to spot them all!
Images L-R: Making new friends, Agfest 2017; cutesy of Emily House via Instagram. | On the Learning Trail, Agfest 2017; cutesy of Katie MacFarlane via Instagram.
How much will it cost a family to attend this year? We suggest pre-purchasing tickets online to make the most of our family tickets and for ease of entry (nobody wants to start their day in a que). These are online only and are $50 fer family pass (2x adults and 3x children aged 5-17. Kids under 5 are free). Gate fees are extra.
And finally, what are your top recommended activities or exhibits for families this year? The Kids Agricultural Awareness Program (KAAP) marquee, Seed House Animal Nursery, Betta Milk Jumping Castle, Equine Expo and the TJM Central Arena always have something going on!
Images L-R: Yummy Hot Chocolates, Agfest 2015; cutesy of Bentwood Coffee via Instagram. | What to see next?, Agfest 2017; cutesy of Danni Clark via Instagram.
Thanks, Ash! Its great to have that first hand insider info! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to jump on the AGFEST WEBSITE and get in touch.
RURAL YOUTH Q & A
Rural Youth member, Ash.
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Rural Youth member, Ash.
WHAT IS RY? Rural Youth is a group of people aged between 15 and 30 years coming together to make friends, learn skills and work towards Growing Rural Tasmania.
DO YOU HAVE TO LIVE ON A FARM TO JOIN? Not all members live or work on farms. In many instances the only thing members have in common is that they are young people interested in developing themselves, meeting new people and having fun.
WHY GET INVOLVED? There are amazing opportunities for personal and professional learning, great friendships and great memories. My partner signed me up. But it was the best thing I have ever done!
IS RY A BIG COMMITTEE? There are about 250 Rural Youth members state wide.
Agfest Committee; Cutesy of Agfest Field Days
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Agfest Committee; Cutesy of Agfest Field Days
YOU RUN AGFEST? Yes. The Agfest committee consists of around 50 volunteers with an average age of 24. Throughout the field days there will be just under 120 volunteers helping out on site in total.
MOST INSPIRING PERSON AT AGFEST? I must hand it to our chairman this year Owen Woolley. To see him hands on at the working bees has been great. He is an inspiring leader.
HOW TO JOIN? Visit the link and complete the interested member form and we will be in touch soon! http://www.ruralyouth.com.au/interested-member/