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    GEARING UP: Speed Lions Club volunteers get the Mallee Machinery Field Days site ready at a working bee ahead of the event.

AgLife: Speed community key to event success

Former Mallee Machinery Field Days president and founding member Kevin Emonson is proud of the impact the event has on the community.

Speed Lions Club has organised Mallee Machinery Field Days since its inception in 1979 and will welcome visitors back to the event after a two-year COVID-19-restriction hiatus. 

Mr Emonson, one of two original committee members from the first field days event at Speed, said he was looking forward to the return of the event. 

“The event is run by the town’s Lions club as a fundraiser as well as a way to promote agriculture,” he said. 

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“In the past couple of years, we haven’t been able to support local organisations much and now that we are getting it going again, we can start distributing funds back into the district.

“The district needs to get enough funds to keep our communities going these days, which is a battle in a small area.”

Mr Emonson said throughout the years when someone in the community was in need, the Lions club came to their aid.

“In my opinion, that’s one of the biggest pleasures of the field days – to know quite a few people are getting benefits from it when and where it’s needed,” he said.

“We can support quite a few organisations throughout the district with different projects and I think that’s one of the big pluses of this event.”

The 42nd Mallee Machinery Field Days marks a long history of the Speed Lions Club giving back to the community. 

In 1979, the first field days event ran in a paddock with 39 dealers exhibiting their projects. The event has been hosted at a variety of temporary sites and the logistics behind erecting and removing amenities each year was a big task.

Six years after the first event, a permanent site was chosen between Speed and Turriff.

Each year about 8500 people head through the gate to engage with about 350 exhibitors.

Mr Emonson said despite three years since the last field days, volunteer organisations were jumping back on board.

“The organisations that support us also look to the field days to help their funds – in the end, it saves a lot of chook raffles,” he said.

“For an area like here, it’s all foreign money because it’s not the same people doing the same thing all the time, trying to raise a few hundred dollars, and that’s how it really helps out our district.

“People call it the Speed Field Days, but it’s really for Speed and district, with organisations from Ouyen, Sea Lake, Ultima, Hopetoun and Woomelang all coming along and doing certain jobs to help run the event.

“It’s a great community effort.

“The field days are good for Speed and good for the Mallee.”

Mr Emonson said volunteers ran the event and the Lions club was lucky to have people who put their hand up each year to help out.

“We’re lucky the community gets behind it, otherwise it wouldn’t be quite so successful,” he said.

“We’ve been doing this for more than 40 years and it looks like we know what we’re doing now.

“We hope that we can continue to host the event and keep getting people to take on the major jobs, which is a big effort on their behalf to put in the time.

“I feel fairly confident the Mallee Machinery Field Days will continue with the support we get from the community.”

The entire July 27, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire July 27, 2022 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!