Never before has the outlook for agriculture been so positive.
The seasonal outlook, not only in the immediate area but over most parts of the country, after the best rains for many years, has generated tremendous confidence.
Cattle, lamb and mutton prices are at record levels, and interest rates are at an all time low thus making the purchase of new equipment attractive. I believe this will result in spending on long overdue infrastructure.
We, at Henty, have achieved a long-term dream with the construction of the permanent Country Lifestyle Pavilion.
This building will not only serve the field days but other events during the year.
Baker Seed Co has taken over the agronomy demonstration area and I’m sure this will receive plenty of interest from those looking for new cereal varieties.
The HMFD Co-operative has always been supportive of our younger generation and it is of paramount importance we attract young people to all areas of agriculture to ensure the industry’s future.
This year, the Henty Machinery Field Days Co-operative welcomes our first female member, Sheree Hamson, of Culcairn.
This is also a landmark year for the co-operative as it celebrates the 40th field day at the permanent Cookardinia Road site.
We pay tribute to the hundreds of volunteers who erected the storage and luncheon pavilions, pegged and filled the exhibition blocks, installed culverts, spread road gravel and cleaned up the car park back in 1976.
Forty years ago, the field days were being promoted as the agricultural supermarket to 14,000 rural properties.
Today, it is a first class exhibition venue hosting the nation’s biggest single agricultural and outdoor event, and drawing 70,000 national and international visitors.
We extend thanks to Moane Fitzgerald Constructions, our principal sponsor for their efforts to improve the infrastructure of the site through a staged development plan.
This vision for a site dedicated to year-round use has resulted in the first Henty 4WD and Outdoor Adventure Expo to be held in March.
I extend thanks to our dedicated staff, both in the office, media and outdoors, headed by CEO Belinda Anderson, my fellow directors, members of the HMFD committee and community volunteers.