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About the past 200 years

Honouring the past, embracing the future

The core objective of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) is to support sustainable agricultural development and rural communities in NSW, alongside a vision for a community that understands and values Australian agriculture. The RAS invests nearly $7 million annually in activities designed to promote agricultural excellence and keep rural communities strong.

It began in 1822, in the early days of European settlement. The emphasis at that time was on agriculture and food provision for the new colony. The European settlers were struggling to adapt to the new environment and the problems they were facing with crops and farming. They needed to band together and help each other. And so a group of interested agriculturalists met on 5 July 1822 and formed the Agricultural Society of NSW.

The following year the Society held a Show, with livestock and produce categories. It was an opportunity to educate and inform the people of the colony, and to come together to transact business and exchange ideas. Competitions were held in order to ‘excite in proprietors an ambition to excel each other’, prizes were offered and judging took place in front of the public.

Two hundred years down the track and the RAS is still organising events and competitions and acting as a guardian for the state’s agricultural heritage. The RAS celebrates Australia’s achievements in agriculture and works to promote the viability of rural communities by ensuring that Australia remains a thriving and innovative agricultural producer.

Stay tuned for more information as we approach and put in plans to celebrate this amazing milestone and look forward to the next 200 years of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.