Farm inventors, backyard tinkerers and students are urged to enter their innovative ideas for the Agri-Innovators Award at the 2017 Henty Machinery Field Days.
The entries must meet the criteria of having a practical on-farm application, be based on an original idea of the entrant and not be in full-scale production at the time entry.
Last year’s inaugural entries ranged from a hand tool to a slip-on fencing tray and automated bale feeder from farmers in north east Victoria, southern NSW and the NSW southern tablelands.
The 2016 winners were Pat and Margaret Daniher, of Girral, with the remote controlled Daniher Belt Feeder, an easy solution to feeding out fodder off the back of a ute.
HMFD chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the decision to renew the farm innovation concept was made after inventors were left disappointed with the demise of the NSW Farm Inventor of the Year Awards in 2015.
A perennial favourite with the Henty Machinery Field Days visitors, the awards had provided the launching pad for scores of backyard tinkerers, budding entrepreneurs and enterprising visionaries.
Mrs Anderson said Agri-Innovators was aimed at tertiary and university students, farmers, backyard tinkerers and innovators.
“Entries can be any agribusiness invention, ranging from a mobile phone app or computer software program to the largest tillage machinery,’’ she said.
“This year’s entrants will receive exposure to the agricultural market place and the opportunity to network with potential manufacturers.’’
Margaret Daniher encouraged all inventors or would-be inventors to enter their design in the awards.
She said nation-wide recognition of their product had resulted from their win at Henty last year.
The couple went on to exhibit at South Australia’s South East Field Days and Sheepvention, at Hamilton, Vic.
“We have made some modifications to the feeder to handle round bales – the coverage for us following Henty was a great bonus and the flow on effects were fantastic,’’ Mrs Daniher said.
“In the past, the inventors awards were always the focal point of our visit to the field days.
“I love going to Henty, it’s my favourite field days – I can walk around it in a day and it’s nice to have a look at everything.’’
Mrs Daniher urged anyone with an invention in their back shed to enter the Agri-Innovators Award.
“Give it a go and keep going, put it out there as you just never know who is walking past on the day,’’ she said.
“It has given me a lot of self confidence in having that contact with people, and it gives us another outlet away from the farm as we don’t have many holidays.
“We are now adjusting to the next step beyond the Award and having the feeder components manufactured locally and assembled by Collier & Miller at Griffith.
“We will be back at Henty this year with the belt feeder on the Ag ‘n Vet site.’’
For entry forms, contact the HMFD office on 0269 293 305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org