People power runs Agfest!


Volunteer work can be so rewarding, even when you're dragged out of bed.

What’s that sound you can hear all across the paddocks at Quercus Park?

It’s the sound of hardworking Agfest volunteers at Australia's premier agricultural event.

The three-day event, in its 34th year, is run entirely by Rural Youth volunteers and receives no government assistance. 

Operations manager Ricky Edson attributes the event's long running success on the 126 volunteers, many who take leave-without-pay from their jobs to be take part.

"They’re a group of like-minded people, who want to put on a show,” Mr Edson said.

After six years of volunteering, this year is Mr Edson's debut as chief operations manager.

“I’ve got the passion for Agfest, I enjoy Agfest every year, as much as it runs me down, when I look back it’s the friendships I’ve made that I remember,” he said.

With a volunteer-run event like this one, there are bound to be some hiccups, especially the early morning starts, he said.

When wake up calls did not get them out of bed, alternative measures were found.

“One year I slept in and I got dragged down the hallway in my swag and put into the vehicle,” he said, laughing.

Although, the weather has been far from perfect in the lead up to the event, Mr Edson praised the drainage on site.

“We’ve got good drainage and it’s adequate for the site,” he said.

With Quercus Park only hosting Agfest for three days, the property is put to other uses.

“It’s a working farm which we hire out to different horse clubs and we have working bees out here to keep up the site’s maintenance,” he said.

It is amazing to see how people of such a young age are able to come together as one to organise such an iconic event on Tassie’s agricultural calendar.

“All I take (from Agfest) is a sense of achievement and good memories,” Edson said.