The Pedigree Sheep and Yard Dog Trials are once again a feature at the 2016 Henty Machinery Field Days set to take place on Tuesday, September 20 to Thursday, September 22. The Henty dog trials attracts the cream of the nation’s competition dogs and their handlers each year. The event is limited to an open trial, with no encourage or novice classes, and handlers enter their best four dogs. The threesheep field trial requires the dogs to move the sheep around a designed course. The dog and handler begin with 100 points, with points deducted by the judge for faults. The Pedigree Murray Valley Yard Dog championships are also run in conjunction with the Field Days.
WIDESPREAD rain across the mixed farming belt and strong commodity prices will combine with a full house of exhibitors at the 53rd annual Henty Machinery Field Days (HMFD).
The 105ha grounds are at capacity with the event expected to draw a crowd of 60,000 keen to inspect more than $100 million worth of machinery on site.
More than 850 exhibitors will display their products on more than 1200 sites in what is now the single largest agricultural and open-air event in southern Australia which is set to take place on Tuesday, September 20 to Thursday, September 22.
As the Henty Machinery Field Days heads into its 53rd year, an economic impact study revealed the event contributes $92 million to the national economy.
The study undertaken by Crowe Horwarth last year showed the field days created around $30 million in economic value and sustained 321 fulltime jobs in southern NSW and northern Victoria.
HMFD chairman Ross Edwards said the study had certainly spelt out the importance of the field days.
“Not only in this region but across Australia – to think this is the result of a one day header school in the 1960s makes one feel humble to be the leader of this massive achievement,” he said.
This year marks the 40th anniversary since the co-operative moved to a permanent site on the Cookardinia Road, east of Henty.
Among the features for the 2016 event will be the popular agronomy demonstration plots.
Grain growers will be able to inspect 22 wheat varieties, including a potential replacement for Wedgetail, at the site’s dedicated agronomy plots.
Farm inventors, backyard tinkerers and students will display their innovative ideas at the Agri-Innovators site.
The entries had to meet the criteria of having a practical onfarm application, be based on an original idea of the entrant and not be in full scale production at the time of entry.
Other drawcards at the 2016 event will be the daily demonstrations of Parelli natural horsemanship, the sheep and yard dog trials, agronomy plots, 2016 Natural Fibre Fashion Awards, chainsaw carving, vintage farm machinery, and the Farm Gate Produce Market Area with entertainment by Dreamfields creative mentoring program.
The prestigious Henty Machine of the Year Award will be judged on September 19 and presented at the official opening on Tuesday, September 20.
To pay tribute to the nation’s dairy industry during its time of crisis, the field days will be officially opened by Australian Dairy Farmers vice-president and Wagga dairy farmer, Simone Jolliffe.
Country Lifestyle is celebrating the completion of an allweather site with a new 120m long shed with a sealed floor to accommodate 100 exhibitors with more than 481m of shop front.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the field days at the Cookardinia Road site, there will be vintage fashion parades featuring garments from the mid-1970s daily at 11am and 2.30pm.
Designers with a flair for converting natural fibres into wearable art will compete for almost $6000 worth of prizes.
The Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards showcase designs using at least 70 per cent natural fibres with the winners announced about 1pm Thursday.
Cooking demonstrations and talks by celebrity presenters, including Tom O’Toole and Caz Higgs, will take place at the Farm Gate Market Produce Area.
One of the few full-time professional chainsaw sculptors in Australia, Angie Polglaze, will be showcasing this art form each day during the morning and afternoon sessions near The Stump.
Visitors will be able to take 10-minute helicopter joy flights over the field day site and surrounding countryside with Wagga Air Centre pilot Chris Cabot.
Always drawing a large crowd, the display by the Henty and District Antique Farm Machinery Club members is to focus on Australian made machinery.
Gates are open from 8am to 5pm, with adult tickets $20, children 12 to 16 years $5, and children under 12 free when accompanied by an adult.
Visitors can also pre-purchase their tickets on-line.
For more information visit www.hmfd.com.au.
RECORD CROWD: Last year’s Henty Machinery Field Days drew a record crowd of 70,000 and 870 exhibitors across more than 1200 sites.