Another major rural event has fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic with the organisers of Sheep Connect announcing its cancellation this morning.

Key points:

  • Sheep Connect in Hamilton, western Victoria, has been cancelled due to the pandemic
  • The two-day event was planned for August 2 and 3
  • Organisers say the ram sale will proceed virtually

Sheepvention, this year downsized to meet COVID requirements and rebranded as Sheep Connect had been scheduled to take place on August 2 and 3 at Hamilton, in western Victoria.

The event was to include trade displays, a ram sale and a conference headlined by agriculture consultant Jason Trompf, who was to speak on reproduction.

While the two-day event will not go ahead, the ram sale will proceed virtually and the conference will be rescheduled to later in the year.

Sheepvention, which has been running for more than 40 years, was also cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

The decision follows the eleventh-hour cancellation of the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo last weekend.

No option but to cancel

Sheepvention president Kathryn Robertson said the committee tried to find a way to proceed with the event, but found it was impossible.

“There have been plenty of meetings and lots of discussions about different scenarios, but due to the extended lockdown we’ve had to make the decision to cancel Sheep Connect,” she said.

“It’s extremely disappointing and although Sheep Connect wasn’t going to be as big as Sheepvention, at least we were hoping to get some sort of event happening.

Ms Robertson said it was a blow both for the region and for the sheep studs that use Sheepvention as a marketing opportunity.

“Sheepvention brings a lot of people to the region, accommodation is booked out and restaurants are full,” she said. 

“For the exhibitors, they’re missing out on a lot of networking and exposure and advertising.

“We’re very much hoping we can return in full in 2022 — everyone has their fingers and toes crossed.”

More events disrupted

In South Australia, Dairy SA has cancelled the DairySA Innovation Day 2021 because of the increased COVID risk and current border restrictions.

The South East Merino Field Day, which was to be held in Keith tomorrow, has also been cancelled.  

And in Adelaide, the AdvanceAg conference, which was to look at new technologies farmers could take up, has been postponed. 

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‘Extremely disappointing’: Premier sheep event cancelled due to COVID
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