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AgLife: Changing times in rural landscape

As an aged rural reporter, I’ve been going to field days since the early 1980s. 

I know, that’s a very long time. And it includes field days in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.

I cut my teeth on stud merino field days in the mid north of South Australia, traipsing the long, dusty roads to some of the most famous studs like Collinsville and the Bungaree group. 

Ah, those were the days – big, plain-bodied sheep that sold for prices not heard of since.

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In more recent times, it’s been Elmore, Sheepvention, Henty and of course, the Wimmera Machinery Field Days, which have a permanent place in my work calendar – until last year when I had a leave pass to go to my son’s wedding.

 That was the weekend before the first lockdown. My, haven’t things changed since then?

If little else, the pandemic has forced us all to be more resourceful. 

Thanks to the internet, livestock sales have been booming through AuctionsPlus and farmers are rethinking how they sell their animals.

Out of adversity comes opportunity. Like the Wimmera field days, Horsham Show had to be cancelled, so, like the field days, they went online and it grew like topsy. 

From that has come the 150km Feast, celebrating how agriculture has sustained the Wimmera community through this pandemic. Of course, most grain growers love to go along to events to catch up and kick a lot of tractor tyres, check out the lastest controlled-traffic technology and ponder if there ever really will be driverless tractors.

But this is the year to be investing with the Federal Government’s 100 percent asset write-off on new and used machinery, so spoil yourself, go online and have a gander.

My household has certainly been doing its bit to support the wine industry during lockdown. 

The wine delivery man knows my dogs by their name and plays little tricks on us, like hiding behind the front door and leaping out with a big ‘boo!’ and another carton of fine wine. Life is too short to drink cheap wine.

As agriculture leads Australia out of the economic doldrums, let’s get online, support our local community and instead of walking those 10,000 steps, let’s make 10,000 clicks and browse through businesses in AgLife.

The entire February 24, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire February 24, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!