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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.

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