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29 July 2020
BY DYLAN DE JONG
Organisers of Mallee Machinery Field Days are confident exhibitor and community support will continue for next year’s event.
The Mallee’s prime agricultural showcase was building at the start of this year, with buyer confidence at an all-time high thanks to an above average harvest across the Wimmera and southern Mallee.
And although the 42nd event was called off due to COVID-19, president Terry Kiley is encouraging farmers and exhibitors to continue to support the event when it can go ahead again.
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Mr Kiley said the field days committee was planning to build the event, which attracts more than 8000 attendees and up to 300 exhibitors, to be even stronger next year.
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“This pandemic keeps throwing curve balls at us, but we look forward to having our event next year,” he said.
“We’ll be trying to make it as presentable as we possibly can. We might look at other attractions that might boost up its profile. We plan to meet with the Lions Club to start getting some ideas down for next year.”
Mr Kiley said his biggest concern was for the schools, hospitals and sports clubs that would miss out on donations due to this year’s cancellation.
Organisers estimate the event generates between $50,000 and $100,000 each year, which is then injected into Speed, Hopetoun, Ouyen and Sea Lake communities.
“What will suffer is the schools and those who benefit from the field days. We hand out a fair bit of money from this event,” he said.
Mr Kiley said the Lions Club was also looking to recruit more people to help for future events.
“The biggest concern is the organising committee – we continue to need young people to jump on board with the Lions Club to help with the administration,” he said.
“A lot of us are getting older so we do look to have a top-up of young ones to help us out.”
Secretary Andrew McLean said the volunteers were the fabric that made the field days.
“All up we use about 250 volunteers for the field days event,” he said.
“We might only have 23 or so Lions Club members, but we have the support of three or four different neighbouring clubs and the schools who all chip in.”
Mr McLean said he was confident exhibitors would continue to support the event in 2021.
“Throughout the years some of the exhibitors have stuck with us right through, we hope that will continue,” he said.
The entire July 29, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire July 29, 2020 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!