Greater Hume Council award recognises Australian innovation
A southern NSW designed and manufactured multi-purpose feeder won the coveted Greater Hume Council Award at the 2022 Henty Machinery Field Days.
The award recognises the best new Australian designed and built agricultural machine and is judged by a panel of independent judges with the 2023 winner to be announced on Wednesday, September 20 at 10.30am at The Stump.
Last year the Award was presented by Greater Hume Council Deputy Mayor Cr Annette Schilg and Henty Machinery Field Days director Matt Noll to Daniel Draper, Steele Steel, West Wyalong, for a dual auger multi-purpose 70 bag Ezy Feeder.
Mr Draper was overwhelmed at the win with his first entry in the coveted award.
He took on the business the week before Henty Machinery Field Days in 2018 and was mentored through the event by Steele Steel’s previous owners, Dave Perks and Donna Steele. The business manufactures bulk grain, seed, fertiliser and stock feed handling equipment.
Born and raised in Wagga Wagga, Mr Draper is a fabricator by trade and worked in off-shore mining for 14 years before founding Daniel’s Fabrication in Wagga, producing 600 trailers and almost 6000 lick feeders.
He said the Ezy Feeder had been originally launched in 2004 and evolved into the 2022 winning model described as a “hamburger with the lot”.
“It has a rear additive box resulting in a better mix of feed, lime, lupins and nutrients if deploying out of the auger or if trail feeding, it drops it straight out the rear end.
“The 305-litre poly injected additive box was designed by a company in Melbourne.
“It has a dual auger system for doing short fillings and an extended auger for using as a mini-grouper or seeder to fill an agri-drill.”
The Ezy Feeder is equipped with digital scales with Blue Tooth and an onboard Rinstrum X320 water-proof display while the read-out transfers to a tablet in the vehicle.
“The operator can wireless remote the whole unit from in and out of gear through to operating the single bins. Feed rates can be manually adjusted on one side and set, and remotely add the buffers of salt, minerals and lime from the rear additive box,” Mr Draper said.
“The first blue tooth version prototype was rolled out three years ago and it is now a lot more responsive with less delay with the new model. We now hold one of the fastest 12 volt electric actuators, so you get a quicker adjustment without having to go pneumatic.
“Everything is built in-house at West Wyalong from the ground up.”
Mr Draper paid tribute to his staff operating under challenging times, including material shortages and rising input costs, to get the machines manufactured.
It was the second time in a row an agricultural manufacturer from West Wyalong had won the Greater Hume Council Award.
Mr Draper said it was “an honour and humbling to receive such an award”.
“It’s one of those country towns where we all support each other and it’s good to have a great farming community like West Wyalong,” he said.
“I feel very privileged to win this award and it will be a great benchmark for us. Everyone is under the pump with builds but the patience and understanding of the farmers supporting their local businesses is greatly appreciated.”