Thousands expected at Mudgee for Field Days

Mudgee Small Farm Field Days 2019 to be held July 12-14


Events
Cassandra Stanford (right) and members of the Mudgee Youth in Agriculture (MY AG) group at the Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza in Scone 2017.

Cassandra Stanford (right) and members of the Mudgee Youth in Agriculture (MY AG) group at the Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza in Scone 2017.

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More than 20,000 people from the region are expected to attend the 42nd Mudgee Small Farm Field Days.

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More than 20,000 people from across western NSW are expected to attend the 42nd Mudgee Small Farm Field Days next month.

The annual event has evolved a lot over 42 years to encompass much more than it did when it first started in 1977, Australian Rural Education Centre general manager Cassandra Stanford said.

"The event has been going from strength to strength," she said.

"We had a record number of exhibitors in 2017, then again in 2018, and 2019 is looking to be bigger again! The visitor numbers have also been the highest they've ever been."

The field days will be held over July 12-13 at the Australian Rural Education Centre.

Ms Stanford said community events like the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days are the backbone of a small town.

"They provide a chance for people to get away from the farm, have a day out and connect with others," she explained.

"These events are also so important for community groups. The field days are a not-for-profit charity and we're self-funded, so entry fees ensure the event continues. There are also so many other community groups involved in the event."

Ms Stanford said they try to employ local groups for whatever tasks possible, from gate keeping, parking, parcel pickup, catering and more.

Some of these groups include SES, Rescue Squad, multiple RFS brigades, rugby and swimming clubs, school P&Cs, Landcare, Masons and Men's Shed.

"The field days are the major fundraiser for a lot of these groups. So without the funds they receive from this event, they might not be able to offer different services or activities, which also benefit the community." Ms Standford said.

"It is also important to promote agriculture, where your food comes from etc as this is not common knowledge any more. The MY AG group aims to educate children whilst engaging them in agricultural related activities."

Organisers estimate about 40 per cent of those who attend are from the local region, with the other 40 per cent from surrounding regions and the remainder further afield.

"There has been an increase in city and urban folk attending the event as it has grown into a great showcase of many different industries in a beautiful location," she said.

"We want to make sure people know that it is not just tractors and machinery, there really is something for everyone."

"There has been an increase in city and urban folk attending the event as it has grown into a great showcase of many different industries in a beautiful location."

Ms Stanford said they try to include something that will interest every possible visitor.

"There's more kids activities added each year, more entertainment for the whole family. The pavilion has a great range of information and products that suit a variety of people," she said.

This year will be no shortage of fun and informing activities for everyone, including sustainable living, livestock, machinery, agronomy, fashion, homewares, caravan and camping.

On show will be a range of new products, techniques and information on display so visitors can get up to date advice and products, Ms Stanford added

"The field days an opportunity to talk to the producers, manufacturers, industry experts. These days most things are available online and we lose the benefits of face-to-face communication," she said.

"Whether you're interested in horses, gardening, livestock or food, there is so much information on offer between the talk tents, practical demonstrations and individual exhibitors sites."

The 2019 field days will include even more entertainment, including trick riders and pony rides.

"There's also a mechanical bull open to all ages. All of this entertainment is included in your entry price, so parents don't have to fork out more money for rides or activities," she said.

Western Magazine

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