New Agfest chairman Owen Woolley outlines his plans for 2018 event

Agfest’s new chairman Owen Woolley has started with big goals for the equine arena and committee member development at the state’s biggest agricultural event.

The 24-year-old self-employed carpenter and joiner from the Channel area south of Hobart has been a Rural Youth member since he was 16.

In the past eight years Mr Woolley has held many positions on the Afgest committee – including central arena, safety, operations and security roles – but is now looking forward to sinking his teeth into the top job.

He also spend 18 months in Canada working on a large-scale grain property for a Rural Youth exchange program.

“I always wanted to take on the chair [position],” Mr Woolley said.

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While the Afgest chairman role is for one year, it can be extended to a two-, or even three-, year term.

“I envisage two years because you don’t quite get to action all your goals in one,” Mr Woolley said.

“My focus is on the equine area and boosting the flow to it to get that absolutely soaring and I want to instill in the younger members a sense of ownership. I want them to just run with their ideas.

“I’m trying to get a succession plan running. By the end of my term I’d really like to see 3-4 years of evolving succession,” he said.

Mr Woolley said he and the Agfest committee, which held its first planning session for the 2018 event on Saturday, were also prepared for some backlash around the increased ticket price introduced this year.

Agfest will be held on May 3-5, 2018.

Exhibitor applications will open on October 1, will successful exhibitors notified in January.