top of page


In 1839, a group of far-sighted settlers in the Colony of South Australia met to form an organisation that would underpin and promote agriculture, pastoralism and horticulture. Those pioneers believed that, through the exhibitions of livestock, grain and produce, and the interchange of ideas, South Australians would learn the potential of rural industries. It was a precedent venture and became in time the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia.

Excerpts from 'Sharing the Good Earth - 175 of influence and vision', Rob Linn, March 2014.


1836 to 1851

Of lasting Benefit to the Colony

In 1839, an Agricultural Society was first formed in South Australia, based on the principals of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland. Another Society with broader horizons encompassing greater interest in horticulture was formed in 1842 and over time the two amalgamated. 

The first Produce Show was staged in the yards of Fordham’s Hotel, Grenfell Street, Adelaide on 8 December 1840. The exhibits included vegetables, cereals, and cheese, wool and leather goods.

The first Livestock Show was held on 20 October 1843 at Payne’s Hotel yards in Hindley Street. The first Ploughing Match was held on Dr Mayo’s block at Thebarton and one of the ploughs was manufactured locally.

In 1844, the Autumn Show was held in a large marquee in Botanic Park. A feature of the machinery exhibits was John Ridley’s reaping machine, invented and manufactured in his Hindmarsh workshop. Local beer was exhibited for the first time.

bottom of page