Better Farming Train

The Better Farming Train was a public education initiative, that toured regional Victoria from 1924-1935.

In 1924, just after the Royal Melbourne Show, the Better Farming Train left Melbourne for its first regional tour. Developed cooperatively by the Departments of Agriculture, Railways, Education and Public Health, the Better Farming Train was a public education initiative designed to improve farming techniques and raise agricultural production.

The brightly coloured train consisted of 15 carriages fitted out with displays on different agricultural areas. Potatoes, pasture and fodder, bee keeping, pigs, cattle, poultry and dairy were among the exhibitions included together with a very popular ‘women’s branch’ featuring cookery, needlework, baby welfare and home hygiene.

When the train arrived at a station, the display carriages were opened to the public, livestock was walked out into yards and pasture plots were set up. The displays were accompanied by a series of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on learning experiences that provided information on new agricultural initiatives and techniques. Many of the lectures were conducted by agricultural leaders associated with the RASV.

The train’s inaugural stop was Bunyip and between 1924 and 1935 it made approximately 38 tours throughout regional Victoria, stopping at over 390 towns and being visited by an excess of 250,000 people.