Leading Victorian and NSW stud breeders say cancelling major agricultural shows this year will have both a financial and social impact on the industry.
The Royal Melbourne Show, due to be held in September, was the latest event to be cancelled, due to concerns over coronavirus.
The announcement follows the cancellation of the Adelaide Royal, Brisbane Ekka and Sydney Royal Easter Show earlier this year, as well as Victorian events, the Australian Sheep & Wool Show, Bendigo, and Hamilton's Sheepvention.
Stud breeders said while the decision was disappointing, they understood the reasons behind it.
Jamie Buerckner, Bauer, Ariah Park, NSW, took out the Supreme Champion Border Leicester trophy at last year's Royal Melbourne Show.
"It's a big avenue we use for marketing; it's disappointing not to be able to go," Mr Buerckner said.
"There's really only social media for promotion, and there's only so much of that you can do.
"Sometimes you just get people from out of the blue, who say 'I saw your sheep at a show'."
Sweetfield Corriedale's Bron Ellis, Mount Moriac, who works closely with younger breeders, said she was keeping in touch with them.
Sweetfield took home its first Royal Melbourne interbreed supreme ribbon last year.
Ms Ellis said she was sure younger farmers would continue to be involved in breeding and showing, particularly if a 'virtual' event was offered later this year.
"Some of the older girls are doing university, and are busy keeping up with that, but there is a social aspect to it, and we are going to miss the shows," Ms Ellis said.
"It's not only about the sheep; they will just tick along in the paddock."
It's not only about the sheep; they will just tick along in the paddock.
"We all have different ways of promotion and I think the young ones are a lot more savvy, in terms of social media, than I am."
She said preparing show animals was a 12-month process.
"From the young one's point of view, yes, it's hard," she said.
"If you are not showing your stock, you are not going to rug them, or feed them as much."
KO Angus, Kangaloon, NSW took out the Supreme Beef Breed Exhibit, last year, with KO Dream N43.
Stud manager Tim Lord said the cancellation of the shows could lead to a potential loss of income.
"It limits the exposure of our operation. You can get to a broader audience by going to shows, attracting new clientele and competing against other studs and exhibitors," Mr Lord said.
Jacqui Feagan, Tarrawarra Lowlines, took out the top prize in her section for Tarrawarra Faith.
"It's a lost opportunity, because we have young bulls that won't get to be shown, as juniors," Ms Feagan, Tarrawarra, said.
"It involves long-term planning that take years to get to that point - everything is on hold."
Royal Agricultural Show of Victoria chief executive Brad Jenkin said the organisation was currently discussing how to run a virtual event.
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