Yerong Creek farmer Ross Edwards has stepped down as chair of the Henty Machinery Field Days after 11 years at the helm.
Culcairn farmer and HMFD deputy chair Nigel Scheetz has been appointed to fill the role on the seven-member board while Mr Edwards will remain as a director.
Mr Edwards took on the role in 2007 upon the retirement of the late Colin Wood, who served as chair for 33 years.
“Henty is part of the social and economic fabric of southern NSW and northern Victoria. It’s a major annual focus for the farming families who continue to drive agricultural forward,’’ he said at the time.
Over the years, Mr Edwards maintained a focus on fostering youth to create a blend of energy and new ideas.
Another key objective was to maintain the broad community involvement that has contributed to Henty’s success over many years.
Among his personal highlights were bringing the Taylor Wood Pavilion from a dream to a reality, and watching the funds raised by community organisations be reinvested back into their districts.
“HMFD is the envy of many organisations with its large involvement of youth,’’ Mr Edwards said.
“There is such a camaraderie within the co-operative and everyone gets on well.
“We have a wonderful association with the exhibitors, Roads and Maritime Services, and emergency services.
“The event is not only recognised Australia wide but world wide.
“I thank our wonderful staff, my wife and family for their support and wish Nigel the very best.
“Not only does agriculture have a great future but I’m positive HMFD will play a major role in it.’’
Nigel Scheetz was initially appointed to the board in 2004 and is the third generation to serve on the HMFD Co-operative.
Nigel, his wife Kerryn and son Lachlan produce cereal crops, run trade cattle, Merinos and prime lambs on their Culcairn property.
He has been involved with the field days from a young age, and in turn, his sons, Lachy, Austin and Tom, are all involved as younger members.
Nigel, 49, was involved with traffic control during the field days and assists with the logistics and VIP area.
“The field days has always played an important role providing our exhibitors with the opportunity to be at the forefront and display new information, techniques and technology for agriculture,’’ he said.
“We have a great group of young people involved with the field days – around 15 young farmers aged under 25 and all sharing a passion for agriculture.
“Our older members have a real love for the industry and we welcome them to share their experience, knowledge and skills as mentors for our younger members.
“Even though many regions have been experiencing tough conditions for some time, agriculture is still exciting with buoyant livestock and good commodity prices.’’
HMFD chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said Mr Edwards was the chair throughout many changes and advancements at the field days and his dedication never waivered.
“I personally thank Ross for the many selfless years of service he provided to the co-operative as its chair and the support he has provided to me as CEO,’’ Mrs Anderson said.
“It is also pleasing that Ross has remained on the board and will still be heavily involved with the operations of the co-operative and field days.
“Congratulations to our new chair Nigel Scheetz. I have known Nigel for many years now and he will perform the role with the utmost professionalism and equal dedication to that of his predecessor.
“Nigel will be well supported by the deputy chair, Daryl Thomson, and the remaining directors.
“I look forward to working with the new configuration of the board. HMFD has an exciting future ahead.’’