Green light given for this year's Henty Machinery Field Days

They're back! Henty Machinery Field Days set to return in 2021

Machinery
IT'S BACK: The big Henty Machinery Field Days will return this year after last year's cancellation because of COVID.

IT'S BACK: The big Henty Machinery Field Days will return this year after last year's cancellation because of COVID.

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Organisers have pushed the go button on this year's Henty Machinery Field Days.

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Southern Australia's biggest farm event, the Henty Machinery Field Days, will be back in 2021 after last year's event became a victim of COVID.

The event attracts more than 60,000 visitors each year and last year's cancellation was only the third in its 58-year history.

The field days are scheduled for September 21-23 with exhibitor online applications set to open on March 16 and online ticket sales for visitors from late July.

Planning for other major farm machinery field including AgQuip (August 17-19) and the Australian National Field Days (October 21-23) are also underway.

HMFD chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the co-operative's board gave the green light for event planning to go ahead in February.

With the 2019 field days drawing more than 850 exhibitors on more than 1200 sites, Mrs Anderson is expecting exhibitors numbers to be in excess of 850 for 2021 on the back of strong interest.

"We are back with a bang this year," she said.

Mrs Anderson said the board and staff were working hard on planning a COVID-safe event.

She said public entry would operate on a contactless system with patrons pre-purchasing tickets online and scanning a QR code at the entrance gates while exhibitors would be encouraged to use EFTPOS facilities.

PACKED SITE: Organisers are expecting more than 850 exhibitors at this year's Henty field days.

PACKED SITE: Organisers are expecting more than 850 exhibitors at this year's Henty field days.

Mrs Anderson said there would be an additional level of sanitisation of amenities and COVID marshalls to monitor social distancing to protect the health of patrons, exhibitors, volunteers and staff.

"Henty this year coincides with the NSW and Victorian school holidays and 2021 marks 60 years since the field days were conceived as a one day header school at the Henty showground in 1961," she said.

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"The field days will have all the usual attractions including the prestigious Henty Machine of the Year Award, the working sheep dog trials, Country Lifestyle pavilion, Farm Gate Produce Market, Baker Seeds agronomy trials, helicopter joy rides, live entertainment, the Natural Fibre Fashion Awards and vintage farm machinery display.

"We will be seeking to reinvigorate the popular Agri-Innovators Award for innovative inventions from farmers, students or backyard tinkerers."

The entries must meet the criteria of having a practical on-farm application, be based on an original idea of the entrant and not be in full-scale production at the time entry.

The not-for-profit HMFD co-operative enabled fundraising of more than $350,000 to regional sporting clubs, community organisations and schools from the 2019 Henty Machinery Field Days.

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