FIVE of the New England region's show societies have received an early Christmas present in the form of funding from the federal government.
The Tamworth Show Society, Merriwa Show Society, Woodenbong Show Society, Quirindi Show Society and the Quirindi Heritage Village will share in more than $49,000 to help ensure events proceed next year after the COVID-19 pandemic.
New England MP Barnaby Joyce said the funds came via the federal government's $34 million Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Program and funds would begin rolling out by Christmas.
"Volunteers, families, school kids and community groups involved in shows all help to lower operating costs and make these events as good as they can be," Mr Joyce said.
"Shows not only provide a social outlet for our communities, they also help to maintain our competitive edge by exhibiting new ideas, new technologies and new ways of working.
"I am pleased local events will be able to offset some losses from this year and hope they will be in sound position to host again in 2021."
Merriwa Show Society member Rob Tindal said the funding would provide his community with "a very welcome boost" after missing out on this year's show.
"Like so many shows across the country we had to cancel this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but funding like this will help us find our feet for next year," Mr Tindal said.
"Thankfully, our show has been getting stronger every year and funding like this has a lot to do with it.
"We've had a really lucky run over the past five years or so with government funding, which has allowed us to upgrade things like fencing, pavilions and our sheep shed.
"Our show plays such a vital role in bringing our community together and we are really grateful for this funding, which will help us do that next year."
Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud said 378 events across the country had been approved for funding to help ease cash-flow pressures.
"The government is keen to ensure show societies and field day organisers are in the best shape possible to continue in 2021," Mr Littleproud said.
"These events bring our families and farmers together, build community spirit and help bridge the divide between country and city."
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