Posted on 06 May, 2023
Agfest 2023 Site Awards
Each year, Agfest puts on display its appreciation for the accomplishments of many of its participating sites, presenting eight prestigious awards that are dedicated to a unique category.
Winners around Agfest have already been seen taking great pride in their awards, showcasing them along with banners as part of their site setup.
Best Small Site
Winner - Launceston Church Grammar School
With assistance from their amazing staff, Launceston Church Grammar School made sure to furnish their site with features that represent their Anglican values and the building character in their students.
They are very appreciative to be seen by Rural Youth for their effort in showcasing how they allows students an opportunity to become who they want to be through traits of inclusivity, compassion, and empathy.
“It’s good to be recognised for our dedication, we even have students around the event who have come to visit, popping inside because they found it to be a very homely and safe space. A lot of our alumni have seen it too and came by to reminisce. It’s very comforting to see.”
Launceston Church Grammar School is located at CWA22 on CWA Grove.
Best Large Site
Winner - Defence Force Recruiting
For Defence Force Recruiting, Agfest is a big part of their calendar. Troop Commander LT Oliver Breeze says site preparation is organised around who is coming, what equipment is on display, and how they will best engage with the community.
“We are a team. Army, Navy, Airforce, we are all working together. This event showcases how tight of a bond we. We have a very cohesive relationship and to have all these different roles, functions, and units working together we are able to showcase our capabilities and demonstrate to the public some of the jobs we have on offer.”
They take this role seriously when engaging with the community, showing as many of the 250 jobs on offer in the Army, Navy, and Airforce.
“Winning a site award is a nice opportunity to achieve recognition of what we do. Importantly, people can visualise through a snapshot of what life is in the service with what we have out on display.”
CPO Melissa Maher is always in contact with each of the different units after an event like this, getting their feedback and experience to improve on the things that did not work and how they can change that.
Defence Force Recruiting is located at M39 on Main Street.
Most Accessible Site
Winner - Hydro Tasmania
Accessibility and inclusion were at the forefront of Hydro Tasmania’s planning for this year's Agfest, working with contractors on the project to set out the marquee and make sure manoeuvrability and information were at an inclusive level.
They are extremely grateful to be a part of the community and witness the result of a lot of hard work from the Rural Youth crew.
“This sense of belonging is always central to our thinking and what we’re planning for these sorts of events. Accessibility is really important. We have a disability action plan so being able to access this site is important for us to as to uphold our core values.”
Every year Hydro Tasmania put an enormous amount of planning and preparation into their setup, focusing on more inclusive activities and features made possible by people like Hydro Tasmania’s Community Engagement Advisor Jane Alpine, Executive General Manager People Culture and Engagement, Ruth Groom, and the efforts of the entire team.
“Each year we update and bring new elements in to tell our story of hydro and the current changes with plans for the future.”
Hydro Tasmania is located at S34 on South Street.
Best Quercus Taste Exhibit
Winner - Gaunts Farm
Boasting a wide selection of tasty treats this year, Gaunts Farm has expanded to include many new options including coffee, homemade treats, and even a loaded sausage. They are making customers know when visiting their site that they have stuck with their true roots.
“Winning the site award is a real privilege, there are lots of good stall holders around and we were really shocked when we won last year. We’ve tried to double down on what we did last year and build on that experience.”
Gaunts Farm are mindful that each year they must expand on what there is to offer, making sure that when they plan for each year it build on their previous success.
“It's a real stepping stone, over the last three years we’ve been working through farm succession, from my mum and her brother and sister’s generation through to the next generation, this is part of us expanding our farm offering and preparing for the future. We don’t do an awful lot of events but we believe in Agfest and what it can offer to the Tasmanian public.”
Gaunts Farm is located at 834 on Eighth Avenue.
Best Ag Machinery Display
Winner - Gaffney Machinery
Branch Manager of Gaffney Machinery Scottsdale Nick Butcher says that in order for a site like his to function there is a big team effort behind establishing your brand amongst other competitors.
“You’ve got to work together for about 3-4 weeks before the event and start to arrange transport for machinery, getting that ready about a week or two beforehand. The finishing touches is what really takes time with a lot of hands-on-deck, getting the tents set up with everything inside.”
Awards like this are important to Gaffney Machinery as they show their dedication to the agriculture community and industrial sector. They appreciate what goes on behind setting up a site like theirs with opportunities from rural youth allowing them to put their name out there with products on display and for everything at the event to go as smoothly as planned.
“We are dedicated to customers and rural clientele. We’re all farmers or close to family farms so really we are all part of this industry and appreciate what it does. We just can’t live without it.”
Gaffney Machinery is located at N30 on North Street.
Best Equine and Livestock Exhibit
Winner - Hygain
Hygain is extremely grateful for the support they have received from Rural Youth that has allowed them to display their equine food and nutrition products ready for Agfest.
“When we won the award we were absolutely chuffed. It made our whole day. It really made the whole trip here worthwhile and motivates us to come back next year bigger and better.”
With continual acknowledgment for what they do through their contributions to Agfest, every bit of positive feedback has encouraged them to strive for doing right by the equine industry, meeting with the locals and sharing what they have to offer.
“We love to do right by our equine industry, we are very into nutrition and health. Our best feedback is from the public as we learn through our industry at events like this what’s working. We also like to support the young ones coming through and starting out early.”
Innovation with youth participation is exciting to Hygain and they would like to support younger Tasmanians not normally given an opportunity to be part of a support package. With the help of Agfest, they want to include more junior support people as part of their team.
Hygain is located at E06 at the Equine and Livestock Expo.
Best Business and Lifestyle Site
Winner - Left Field
Managing Director for Left Field Belle Binder, could not be more excited to receive the award as she and her crew made it their job to build a site that reflected Left Field's core values.
“We put a lot of heart and soul into everything we do, we’re not 9-5 people and we don’t shut our doors, we are committed 24/7. The effort we’ve put into our site reflects the effort of what we put into our farmers and employees. It’s a great reflection of the effort behind the little details and what we represent.”
Around the area, they included many fun, informative, and engaging activities, ranging from giveaways and competitions like 'guess the animals in the jar', a raffle for a veggie box, an Instagram-themed frame to take selfies, and some homely tables and chairs reflecting their family values.
“Respect that goes both ways is a core value we work hard to uphold. With great synergy and everyone working towards a common goal, it has a lot to do with this rural culture, making sure the right people are part of it. We are serious and committed.”
Left Field is located at E07 at Pavilion E.
Best Craft Site
Winner - Tasmanian Soap Farm
Michelle Bennett’s idea for Tasmanian Soap Farm first started overseas and that successful venture has led her to Tasmania’s Agfest, winning this year’s award for Best Craft Site.
On display, she has a series of personally-designed artworks and pull-up banners and products highlighting her Tasmanian-made supply and its ingredients.
“The recognition of this award means a lot, especially for what I’ve done as a founder having something to showcase for my efforts in growing a business organically."
Michelle approaches her line of work by educating herself to become a better businesswoman, a type of journey that constantly fascinates her.
“I prefer to let people know all about the story behind the product so that I can find customers that are also open and honest with me. I don’t want to brush them off, so I’m happy to tell the story behind the product.”
With adopted core values of sustainability, conservation, empathy, health, integrity, inclusivity, and respect, she wants to showcase through her site this year how her business honors agricultural produce, creating unique soaps that showcase the purity of nature in Tasmania.
Tasmanian Soap Farm is located at C13 at Pavilion C.