Henty district farmer Rohan Bahr is the newest face on the board at the Henty Machinery Field Days.
Mr Bahr, 52, was elected at the co-operative’s annual general meeting on May 29, and joins chairman Ross Edwards, deputy chairmen Nigel Scheetz and Daryl Thomson, and directors John Maher, Matthew Noll and Mark Hasler.
Rohan is a second generation board director with his father Neil having a 40 year plus involvement with the HMFD co-operative and board.
He and wife Kellie farm 1550ha near Henty, comprising 850ha of cereal and oilseed crops, and run a self-replacing flock of 2800 Merino ewes.
Rohan concedes to never missing a field day during his lifetime and as an adult, has spent the event volunteering in the catering sheds or sourcing a major piece of equipment for the farm.
He has fond childhood memories of helping to prepare the grounds in the mid 1970s when the co-operative moved to a new permanent site on the Cookardinia Road.
“In those days, that was our family life – every Saturday morning Dad would pack up and take his tractor over to the field day site,’’ he said.
“A lot of the times I would go with him – they would be making roads and getting the site ready.’’
As Neil’s board involvement increased, Rohan took up the workload on the farm and only joined the HMFD Co-operative a decade ago.
“It’s funny how it’s changed – Dad gave up the field days and unexpectedly I got more involved,’’ he said.
“I felt it was a local event needing local people around it.’’
Rohan and wife Kellie have three children, and volunteered with the Henty Public School’s catering team at the field days each year.
Dealing with the public over hot dogs and steak sandwiches instilled a pride and passion in the field days, encouraging him to temporarily fill a vacancy on the board until the position was made permanent at the AGM.
Rohan believes he brings local knowledge of the community volunteer groups working at the field days to the board table.
He said field days had a positive future but must remain relevant to a rapidly changing agricultural industry.
“We have to be on the ball with technology, and be open to what people want to see at the field days,’’ he said.
“A lot of people use the internet for their research but there is nothing quite like sitting on machinery and touching a few buttons.
“If we can have the latest and greatest agricultural products there, we will keep getting people along.’’