A public meeting of farmers of the district decided to form the Kyneton Agricultural Association on October 29, 1856. The association's first event was a ploughing match was held on the St Agnes Farm on Wednesday, August 5, 1857 with a handsome first prize of 8 pounds for the winning team of horses and 7 pounds for the bullock team.
The Association met every fortnight and quickly decided to establish a Showgrounds to hold its annual ploughing match as well as an Exhibition of Stock and Grains. By 1857 it had successfully lobbied the State Government and was given five acres opposite where the old Kyneton Hospital still stands today. A Grain Show was held in March 1858, awarding prizes for wheat, barley, oats, hay, poultry dairy produce and vegetables. The new grounds were quickly fenced, cattle stalls and pens built to hold the First Annual Exhibition of Stock and Implements on November 10, 1858. This was the very first Kyneton Agricultural Show - a tradition which continues to this day.
In 1886 the show was moved to the Kyneton racecourse for several years before a final move to our current location in 1920 when the Society bought 20 acres from Mr Geo Hall - almost an entire township block. Farmers came to town with teams of horses, ploughs and more to grade and level the ground to establish a sports arena. The Grand Stand was built in 1930. The Kyneton Show was held every year until 1942 when the Defence Department commandeered the Showgrounds for military purposes during World War II. The show resumed as soon as the Showgrounds were returned to the Society after the war. The 2019 show will be the 159th Kyneton Show.
The Kyneton Agricultural Society acknowledges that the Kyneton Show Grounds is on Taungurung country. We want to acknowledge that when we gather for the Annual Kyneton Show it is on the land of the Taungurung Peoples. We would like to pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging and any Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People who may attend the show.
We joke when someone joins the committee that they're in for life - and that's not far from the truth! We love The Kyneton Show and it does seem to inspire incredible commitment from our many volunteers on Show Day and our committee who work hard all year to make each show even bigger and better than the one before. We honour the exceptional effort of our most dedicated volunteers with the special honour of Life Membership. Our Life Members are: