Spirits were high and the skies were clear as we headed into day one of the 2019 Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days. The theme ‘Celebrating our Story’ was well received by both exhibitors and visitors alike, with the focus on the history of the event. Now in its 55th year, the Dowerin Field Days has a wonderful story to be told, with the inception of the organisation originally being to water the town’s ovals.
A great start to the farming season saw excellent numbers through the gate, with the final count showing over 24,000 people coming through over the two days, with the highest amount of visitors pouring through on the Wednesday in 5 years.
Nadine McMorran, Chairperson of Dowerin Events Management explained that ‘following on from a great harvest and season last year, the atmosphere at this year’s event was exceptional. Our exhibitors put together some wonderful displays, and along with the new attractions on site this was not an event to be missed.’
One of the new features to this year’s Field Days was the Ag Education Area, Assistant Event Coordinator Tiffany Davey said the interactive display ‘We wanted to create a platform for anyone to ask questions about all aspects of the industry and where their food and fibre comes from. There was numerous sectors represented as well as a post box for anyone to write to a pen pal who works within the sector they had questions about. As well as being a great place to escape and take 5 throughout the day, it also was about creating relationships and ensuing anyone going through new that the Agricultural industry is huge and diverse and that as a consumer they play an important part in it.’
Continuing with the youth focus, the Young Farmers Challenge returned for another successful run, with the champions now heading to the RASWA for the state finals. The winners Wongan Hills Drifters, received a cash prize of $500, and the Dowerin Field Days will donate another $500 to an organisation of the winner’s choice.
Following on from the success of the Women in Rural Business
Networking Event held in 2018, the Dowerin Field Days partnered with CSBP once
again to bring a luncheon focusing on health and wellbeing. Special guests such
as Kendall Whyte from the Blue Tree Project, The Visible Farmer Series, and
Lifeline touched on the ever important subject of mental health and their
Event Coordinator Kahli Rose, said the event was well attended and received ‘Mental health is such an important topic that needs to be discussed. Living in regional Australia can be isolating and lonely, and we want to ensure that everyone knows there are an amazing amount of support networks around them, and that it is ok to not be ok!’ ‘All tickets for the luncheon were reserved weeks prior to the event, it is wonderful to see so much support behind a function like this.’ Ms Rose said.
The quality of exhibits on display at this year’s event were incredible, with AFGRI Equipment Australia taking out the Most Outstanding Exhibitor category. The judges were impressed by the overall appeal of the AFGRI site, which included a good range of equipment, friendly staff and well presented displays which catered for both farmers and families.
The Best New Release categories were won by CLAAS Harvest Centre for the CLAAS Lexion Combine Harvester, Berrima Engineering for the BRX1600 Roller Bar Rake and Schnickel Hayrakes for the Opener Series Hayrake.
ARB 4×4 Accessories won the Best Emerging Technology award for the new Redvision digital distribution hub, with Polaris Sales Australia taking out the award for Best Motoring Exhibit and Solarfruit winning Best Lifestyle & Leisure Exhibit.
Mrs McMorran commended the volunteers on their efforts in the lead up to, during and following on from the event. ‘Our volunteers take on a huge responsibility to keep this event happening, and it simply wouldn’t be possible without their support. We have over 300 volunteers at the helm all working towards a common goal. It is amazing to watch everything come together”.
“I would also like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank all of our sponsors for their significant contribution to the event each year, and in particular our major partners GWN7, Farmmachinerysales.com.au and Countryman Newspaper,” Mrs McMorran said.
Photo credit: The Barefoot Photographer