Henty Machinery Field Day News and Current events

 Celebrating the passion and commitment of 60 years at Henty
Members across six decades of the HMFD Co-operative are Barry Scholz, Kerry Pietsch, former HMFD chairman Ross Edwards, and Neil Bahr.

Celebrating the passion and commitment of 60 years at Henty

More than 100 guests gathered to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Henty Machinery Field Days at the Henty Community Club last night.

An evening of memories, recollections, humorous stories and plenty of fellowship was enjoyd by the HMFD members, staff, sponsors, special guests and long-time exhibitors.

An anniversary cake was cut by the oldest member, Len Schilg, 92, a former Brocklesby farmer who joined the newly formed Henty Machinery Field Days committee in 1963 as a representative of the Brocklesby branch of the Farmers and Settlers Association. Helping Mr Schilg was the co-operative’s youngest and fourth generation member Austin Scheetz, 19, of Culcairn.

During the evening, recollections and memories were given by former HMFD Chairman and Yerong Creek farmer, Ross Edwards, who started as a young volunteer in the car park in 1966, and Claude Lieschke, Narrandera, who also started as a young volunteer making hundreds of garbage bins. 

CWA member and former Pleasant Hills farmer Lyn Jacobsen can trace her involvement back to 1970s when she demonstrated bread, scone and cake making to promote electricity for the local County Council before being appointed as coordinator of the Country Lifestyle pavilion. She recalled the early days of the pavilion layering the bare earth with carpet and using a watering can all day to dampen the dust in the aisles. 

Kerryn Scheetz, Culcairn, also spoke of her connections with the field days modelling in Country Lifestyle and later as support crew for current chairman Nigel Scheetz. 

Special guests included ANZ Head of Agribusiness Australia Mark Bennett, Greater Hume Council Mayor Tony Quinn, and Member for Albury Justin Clancy. 

“For six decades you have drawn your leadership from farming communities who understand local needs. You have survived the business threat from the pandemic and have come back stronger than ever,” Mr Clancy said.

“One side of Henty is the business of farming intelligently – science-based, cutting-edge technologies and the other is how important HMFD is for mental health across our rural and regional communities. Henty has been expanding social opportunities in its program and deserves recognition for this.”

HMFD Chairman Nigel Scheetz said members from the early days through until the early 1970s, such as the late Milton Taylor CBE and Ernie Howard, had a vision to provide an event for farmers to learn about advancements in agriculture, to showcase and demonstrate agricultural machinery in the one space, at the one event. 

“There were many tireless hours over many years developing the site to what we have today. Clearing trees, forming roads, laying of electricity lines and plumbing underground and laying out the sites were some of the tasks carried out during countless Saturday working bees,” Mr Scheetz said. 

“Then during the event, these tireless volunteers made sure exhibitors were well looked after and left having learned or seen something new. This trait alone has earned us the special tag of being the friendly field days amongst our exhibitors.”

HMFD chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the event now involves 29 community groups benefiting from over $400,000 returning to their communities last year by either operating a food shed, collecting garbage, cleaning amenities, parking cars, operating the gates and other services.

“With 2022 being our most successful year on record we are looking forward to following this up in 2023. This year will see us sell out of our exhibition sites making it the largest exhibition space in our 60-year history with over 1040 sites occupied,” Mrs Anderson said. 

“Our older members can rest assured the field days are in good hands. Our current members show great dedication in continuing what they began 60 years ago. There is great respect for what was started 60 years ago and great pride in what they now contribute to the broader agricultural sector through their involvement with the production of these field days.”

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Henty Machinery Field Days Co-operative Limited

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Site Address: 22 Lubkes Road, Henty NSW 2658

Postal Address: PO Box 107, HENTY NSW 2658