Henty Machinery Field Days have been held up as a beacon of innovation in agriculture by Australian Dairy Farmers vice president Simone Jolliffe.
The dairy farmer from Euberta was invited to officially open the 53rd field days on Tuesday, September 20.
HMFD chairman Ross Edwards said the co-operative wanted to show support for the region’s dairy industry during a challenging time.
“The dairy industry is in crisis and we at Henty appreciate the support dairy farmers and their service industries have contributed to the field days over the decades,’’ Mr Edwards said.
“Historically, the field days have drawn dairy farmers from southern NSW, northern and north-east Victoria and south-eastern NSW.
“Hay and grain produced in this region is consumed Australia wide by the dairy industry.’’
Mrs Jolliffe said supporting local businesses and communities during the industry crisis was important.
“This isn’t just about trade and market but also natural resource management, people, animal health and welfare, farming systems and herd improvement space,’’ she said.
“These field days encompass so much of that – they are a beacon for innovation in agriculture across so many fields and industries.’’
Mrs Jolliffe outlined her family’s long association with the field days, first coming to Henty as a young child with her grandfather.
“There is always a friendly face at every corner and more often than not, friends, neighbours and associates,’’ she said.
“Although the field days have been a constant in my mind, they have changed – change is the only constant in life and these field days are no exception, nor are the opportunities they provide.
“The commitment to innovation and demonstration that we get to see here and share altogether in one place, to see and touch, and have that tangible experience.’’
Mrs Jolliffe said dairy farmers travelled to Henty each year from the NSW south coast and southern highlands, Bega, northern Victoria and throughout the Murray region.
“They travel here because the offerings and opportunities presented by the exhibitors give people the most efficient mechanism to be exposed to the right people and experts they may not normally connect with to develop their businesses into the future,’’ she said.
“They have that opportunity to see and touch, compare intricate details and different options to suit their needs.
“The excitement of these opportunities and innovation are what makes our businesses and communities better and stronger.’’
Mrs Jolliffe said the fact the field days were locked into people’s calendars from year to year demonstrated what strong communities could achieve when they worked together.
“That strength brings together over 850 exhibitors on over 1200 sites and an extraordinary quantity of machinery and goods valued for all to see,’’ she said.
“Rain, shine or mud, Henty Machinery Field Days draws the crowds regardless, and they are never disappointed.’’