Despite drought conditions causing hard times throughout much of the country, Henty Machinery Field Days chairman Ross Edwards is optimistic sales and visitation to the event will not be affected.
Mr Edwards, of Yerong Creek, said no matter the conditions, the field days were always an important part of the agricultural calendar.
“It’s a bit dry but there’s a lot of positives out there like lamb and wool prices,” he said.
“Whilst the grain jobs are a little bit tough at the moment, the prices are going up so I think the main thing on a year like this is to remain optimistic and enjoy the day out with friends and exhibitors.”
This year, $120 million worth of machinery will be exhibited on the 50 hectares across the 105 hectares.
Mr Edwards expects quite a lot of money will be spent around stock and wool – industries not as hard hit by the current drought.
“I quite believe there’s been a lot of money made out of wool and the livestock side of things,” he said.
“There’s a lot of infrastructure on farms that needs modernising or bringing up to scratch, and I think it’ll be quite positive.”
But even for those doing it tough, Mr Edwards said, there’s plenty at the field days to enjoy and even places to seek help or hear from others in the same tough situation.
“I think we’ll get 60,000 through,” he said.
“People won't be deterred by the dry year, they’ll come along and support the field days, we’re a community field day.
“There’s something for everyone.”
Southern NSW farmer John Harper will be talking about surviving life on the land in drought conditions.
The founder of men’s health program Mate Helping Mate, will speak at the Country Lifestyle pavilion on September 20.
He says when the going gets tough, mates need to step up by supporting each other.
Mental health care, along with pathology and skin cancer checks will also be available at a Tatton Medical Centre site.
At the Stump, judges will crown a Mr and Ms John Deere to mark 100 years of John Deere manufacturing, while also attempting to set the record for Australia’s biggest gathering of JD fans.
Mr Edwards said historic John Deere machinery including a rare 100-year-old Waterloo Boy would be on display for those with ‘green blood in their veins’.
FAST FIELD DAYS FACTS:
Last year the main catering shed alone sold:
- 1700 steaks
- 1800 eggs
- 825 sausages
- One tonne of hot chips
- 664 lamb roast rolls
- 315 slushies in one day
- 3936 Hamburger rolls
- 900 salad rolls
- 842 expresso coffees
- 266 sweet slice (216 made by the one volunteer)
- 330 loaves of bread
- 724 pies
- 1250 bottles of water
- 3174 cans of soft drink
- 15 whole lambs
- More than 100km of toilet paper is used across the three days and 3.6km of paper towel
- $120 million worth of machinery descends on the field days site
- A 2015 Crowe Horwarth economic impact study found the Henty Machinery Field Days creates about $30 million in economic value and sustains 321 full-time jobs in Southern NSW and Northern Victoria.
- HMFD is worth $92 million to the national economy
- Community groups who run the catering sheds, resting place and bar gross $300,000 a year
- The 2017 HMFD’s exhibitor area had 14km of shopfront
- The 2016 Census recorded a Henty population of 1,237 people – which swells during the HMFD as more than 60,000 pass through the gates
- HMFD turned 50 in 2013 and is considered ‘southern Australia’s single biggest agricultural event’ – but was founded as a one-day header school at the Henty showground in 1963.
- The 2018 HMFD runs from September 18-20 with more than 1200 sites and over 800 exhibitors
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