The Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society (BAPS) has appointed a new president as they look forward to a post COVID-19 landscape.
Rick Smith has taken over the role from Geoff Fisken, who recently stepped down at the society's annual general meeting.
After six years working within BAPS, Mr Smith said he is ready to help lead the society into the next phase of its 160-year existence.
"I'm filling big shoes," he said.
"There have been some outstanding BAPS presidents along its 160 years... the range of expertise that's been on top of the organisation has been tremendous.
"I'm excited about the challenges, which don't just face us, but all business and organisations right now. I'm confident in my ability to traverse those challenges because of the talented committee around me."
With the annual Ballarat Spring Show already canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Smith said he will work hard to further the progress on developing the future site of the Ballarat Showgrounds in Mount Rowan.
"Our main objective is that we get BAPS back operating at full strength after the outcome of the pandemic," he continued.
"We recognise we've got a responsibility to the community and the state to continue to showcase rural activities. The exciting part for us is the upcoming transformation of the new showgrounds in Mount Rowan.
"There is an enormous amount of work to be done to get that site ready, so while we're not conducting a show for 2020 there's still a lot of challenges for the staff at BAPS."
While there is currently no timetable for the completion of the new showgrounds, Mr Smith confirmed the 2021 spring show would take place at the current showgrounds if the environment is safe.
"We're looking to transform what is essentially just a paddock into a state of the art exhibition centre.
"It won't be ready by next year's show, which we're very hopeful will be able to go ahead. This is the first time it's been interrupted by something other than war, so we're committed to getting it up and running next year."
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