Book traces growth from grass roots to iconic event
A new book launched by the Henty Machinery Field Days traces six decades of history from its early days to a grass roots event driven by farmers to its position as a global agricultural phenomenon.
The 84-page coffee table style book was written by Henty Machinery Days Media Manager Kim Woods and launched at the official opening of the 60th anniversary event on September 19 by HMFD Chief Executive Officer Belinda Anderson.
“The book is filled with images of the machinery demonstrations popular in the 1960s and where crowds were held back by a string line, through to the inventions, technology, machinery, fashions, exhibits and displays of the 21stcentury,” Ms Woods said.
“It traces the rapid growth of the field days, the decision to purchase an old travelling stock reserve on the Cookardinia Road and the many thousands of volunteer hours to transform it into a dedicated field days site.
“It is a remarkable story of how a bunch of growers having problems with their grain samples in 1961 was the catalyst for an event that is now iconic and an institution on the Australian agricultural calendar for farmers, exhibitors and the mainstream community.”
“The true authors of this book are the founding members, the directors who are still here now, all our members who are working hard and the staff involved over the last 60 years,” Belinda Anderson said.
“Part of that story is the exhibitors as well because we can’t have one without the other – it is a proud part of our history.”
The book includes a list of more than 200 HMFD Co-operative members dating back to 1963.
It features photographs taken over the years by The Border Mail, and photographers Michael Bell, Simon Dallinger, Andy Rogers and Kim Woods.
HMFD Chairman Nigel Scheetz said the book was compiled to showcase the dedication and positive vision of a small group of farmers from the southern Riverina.
“Over a period of 60 years these farmers grew a one-day header school into what is seen today as one of the biggest machinery expos in the southern hemisphere,” Mr Scheetz said.
“The unequivocal passion of our directors, staff and community organisations to provide a service for our exhibitors and an experience for our visitors alike is what keeps Henty Machinery Field Days alive.”
Henty Machinery Field Days – celebrating 60 years of showcasing agriculture to the nation is available through the HMFD office for $40 plus $10 postage and handling.