Royal Bathurst Show, 2018: John Barilaro's official opening

ORGANISERS of the Reliance Bank Royal Bathurst Show have been praised for their work in continuing to promote agriculture to the community and youth in the region.

Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro was invited to official open the 150th show on Saturday, but he also took the opportunity to tour the agricultural exhibits and competitions during the day.

He was also invited to present ribbons to the winners in the McIntosh McPhilamy Young Rural Achiever Awards.

“This is what it’s all about,” he said following the presentation ceremony.

“This is about encouraging more kids into the agricultural sector and you guys have led the way here in Bathurst,” he said.

“We know that agribusiness and agriculture, there’s a strong future. The growth is something that’s going off the charts.

“People want to pay for Australian agriculture, but what we’ve got to make sure is the next generation of farmers and farm owners and if we don’t encourage young people today, you’re not going to have that in a decade’s time.”

Mr Barilaro said it was vital to ensure “kids don’t walk away from the farms” in order to ensure that the region and Australia has a strong agricultural future.

This is about encouraging more kids into the agricultural sector and you guys have led the way here in Bathurst.

Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro

He also acknowledged that ongoing drought conditions across much of the state were making it very “tough” for farmers

“We’re close to 25 per cent of the state being affected by drought,” he said.

“Last week Niall Blair, the minister for Primary Industries, announced a further $20,000 loan for transport of fodder and really a $20,000 load to do anything that you need to do to try and protect yourself and try to support your farm over this period.”

Mr Barilaro said there were a number of subsidies that could help farmers and he encouraged them to find out more.

“I often talk to farm holders and they’re not aware of it, just get in touch with your local member, get in touch with the government and we can steer you through what is a maze in some cases,” he said.

“There are lots of opportunities to subsidise or support.”