Despite dry conditions across much of New South Wales and Queensland, Norco Primex 2018 drew a strong crowd in a year which marks the start of a new era for the field days.
Boasting a “fresh new look”, PrimeX director Bruce Wright said this year there was a marked difference to any of the previous events.
“Without doubt, Norco PrimeX field days have moved into a new and exciting phase of the event's history, growth, and development,” Mr Wright said.
“Along with a major investment into site improvements, some of the many inclusions at this year's event have included the new PrimeX cattle sales complex, the new stud sales, the Australian Working Dogs team championships have been brought back after 20 something years of having them.
“And our critical education and innovation programs offer key information and developments for our industries, inventors, entrepreneurs, that are all based throughout our region and beyond and our developing relationships with the New Zealand national field days.”
With the slogan for this year’s event being ‘Take a Fresh Look’, Mr Wright said the new phase was about diversifying.
“Of course, we proudly remain a primary industries expo, but with so much more competition in the marketplace you have to continually evolve and remain relevant,” he said.
“We have retained the integrity of a trade event, but there is also a celebration atmosphere right across PrimeX of what it is to be ‘country’.
“You can see demonstrations of some of the most cutting- edge farm machinery, but you can also grab a barista coffee and watch chefs doing cooking demonstrations.
“Urban families will discover PrimeX is an unbelievable farmers’ market ... just a lot bigger with a lot more to see, taste and feel. There really is something for everyone.”
Retiring State Member for Lismore, Thomas George, officially opened the field days on Friday morning, congratulating the Wright family and the PrimeX committee on such a successful event yet again.
The opening ceremony also included a formal announcement that the filed days would be moving to a different date next year to coincide with the start of Beef Week.
As an event which attracts more than 300 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors each year, it is a great boost to the Casino region, with the three-day expo injecting an estimated $5 million into the local economy.
Mr Wright said Norco PrimeX also contributes a great deal to the local community in the form of support for charities.
“PrimeX has been based at Casino for more than 30 years and in that time has proven to be a valued part of the community structure,” he said.
“We are proud of our community engagement across this time.”
This year, the Black Dog Institute and North Coast Area Health Service (Breast Care Nurses) will be on the receiving end of this great community support.
“A vital part of the Primex Community Engagement Program is that money raised and support given is delivered to people within the local rural community and this is certainly the case with Black Dog Institute and North Coast Area Health Service,” Mr Wright said.
“I know just how valued both these organisations are within the PrimeX family; mental health is such a major issue in rural Australia and the Black Dog Institute is right at the coalface making a difference.
“The Breast Care Nurses within the NSW North Coast Area Health Service are a huge practical help to women suffering from breast cancer.
“They give support across all areas – medical, physical, emotional – they are amazing.”