COVID-19 may have caused the cancellation of this year’s Henty Machinery Field Days, but organisers in the south western NSW town are already making plans for a big comeback in 2021.
“It’s been disappointing for organisers and all those who love to attend the event, but our focus now is on delivering an even better Henty experience for our visitors and vendors in 2021,” said Field Days CEO, Belinda Anderson.
Making the most of this year’s hiatus, organisers have planned several major improvements including remediating the ground cover over the 105ha site, providing additional customer and administration training for staff, and organising the option for event visitors to go cashless.
The Henty Machinery Field Days prides itself on being one of Southern Australia’s single biggest agricultural events, showcasing the latest farming technology, farm produce, agronomy, outdoors and camping products, country lifestyle, government and health services, agribusiness and finance.
The not-for-profit event is proudly driven by local farmers, run by a board of seven co-operative members and supported by over 100 members.
“It’s got something for everyone. Last year the event had over 830 exhibitors and drew 55,000 people over the 3 days.”
“Farmers will come from five to six hours away to check out the machinery and equipment, but it’s also a time of social gathering for farmers. It’s where they come together to share information and have a beer with mates,” said Belinda.
Regional Recovery Officer for South East NSW, Chris Clark, said the temporary cancellation of events like the Henty Machinery Field Days added to the uncertainty already felt by communities impacted by drought, COVID-19 and other rural hardships.
“For folk living in regional Australia, these events are important social occasions and a way to unwind and connect with family and friends,” said Chris.
“The Regional Recovery Officer network is looking forward to being part of the show in 2021 and engaging with visitors and vendors to learn how the Australian Government can further support farming communities.”
According to event organisers, the Henty Machinery Field Days is worth around $92 million, with 26% of revenue staying in the local economy and the rest extending into the national economy.
“The region will certainly feel the financial and economic loss, this is only the third time Henty has been cancelled since it started in 1963,” she said.
“We will see everybody back here next year, bigger and stronger than ever.”
To find out more about Henty Machinery Field Days, visit their website.
Image - Henty Machinery Field Day CEO Belinda Anderson with Regional Recovery Officer Chris Clark