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    Wimmera Machinery Field Days manager Vanessa Lenehan, president Tim Rethus, founding member Bruce Johansen with current committee member Will Gulline and Tim's children Claire, Heidi and Fred.

Wimmera Machinery Field days’ milestone celebration

By Abby Walter

A milestone year, a promising weather forecast and a close-to-full site are in store for this year’s Wimmera Machinery Field Days.

The field days committee, on March 5, 6 and 7, at Wimmera Events Centre, Longerenong, will welcome agriculture industry exhibitors, farmers and the wider community to a jam-packed event.  

The field days are a showcase of the latest developments in farming practice, machinery, equipment, technology and services.

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Committee president Tim Rethus said the field days would celebrate 60 years of history, while continuing to look to the future and how to stay relevant.

“We’ve been working hard with exhibitors to turn our focus to them and find out what makes a good field days for them,” he said.

“When they’re happy, they’re going to have nice sites, which will make people through the gate happy and everyone wins.”

In March 1963 the first Wimmera Machinery Field Days was hosted by a committee of farmers and people selling agricultural machinery.

It is Victoria’s longest-running field days and the Wimmera’s premier multi-day agriculture event. 

Bruce Johansen, 96, was a member of the first field days committee. 

He said he hoped he would attend this year’s event – having missed ‘only a couple’ since its inception.

Mr Johansen has many memories of field days gone by, but said one of the most significant moments was when the committee purchased land to be able to own the field days site.

“When we started, any buildings we put up had to be taken down because it was college land,” he said.

“Having permanent buildings has made a big difference.”

Field days manager Vanessa Lenehan said the team had been open to making changes and would be trialling new things this year.

“We are changing the Country Lifestyle Pavilion and the team has called a heap of businesses, so we have a lot more exhibitors with a lot more general interest items,” she said.

“The Local Market Square will be fuller and more vibrant as we’re changing things around to attract more people to that area.

“It’s all a matter of trying things, changing things and if something doesn’t work trying something different.”

Mrs Lenehan said a new feature of this year’s field days was a one-stop shop for biosecurity questions from farmers and industry representatives. 

The Victorian Farmers Federation stand will be located beside Agriculture Victoria and Victoria Police in the Alan Herd Pavilion.

The collaboration will enable the organisations to work together to provide information regarding farm crime and biosecurity to people in the agriculture industry.

There will also be security camera sites for farmers to learn more about securing their property.

• More information on the field days is available in our 60-page special edition AgLife in today’s paper.

The entire February 28, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire February 28, 2024 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!