Author Gilbert Mant
Genre: Local History
Publisher: Agricultural Societies Council of N.S.W
Agricultural shows are classic examples of the combination of business with pleasure. The stock, produce and machinery competitions are a constant inducement to improvement and, although they create almost unbearable tension among judges and exhibitors at the time, they provide a great deal of satisfaction.
It is also through pleasure that agricultural societies succeed in the series business of attracting attention of urban consumers to the activities of the rural producers.
For the whole development of agricultural shows in New South Wales, the Agricultural Societies Council can take much of the credit.
"There's no business like show business... there's no people like show people."
This book is a relatively comprehensive look at the history of agricultural societies and show in New South Wales, and the formation of the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW (ASC). It gives an overview of the ASC and the over 200 country shows that run throughout NSW, from the mid-1800s to the 1980s.
I read this book as part of a research project I am working on and found it very enjoyable and interesting. As someone who is involved with agricultural shows, it was great to learn more about the history of the ASC and many of the shows that I've had the pleasure of attending, especially the show I am actually involved with on the committee.
It is a shame that a lot of the early history has been lost, but that it the case for a lot of historic documents in regional areas for the 1800s and early-1900s.
Although this book is out-of-print and hard to find, I recommend it to anyone who has any involvement in the agricultural shows movement, as it is fascinating read.