- Published: Monday, 12 May 2014 14:25
Brave souls from throughout the Hunter and further afield faced some cold and windy conditions to attend the 2014 Tocal Field Days. The Field Days were successful despite the severe weather conditions.
"Numbers were down on the 24,000 of last year, dropping to 18,000 this year. Given the conditions we believe it is a great result". Dr Cameron Archer, Chair of the Field Days Committee said.
"Our Friday attendance was on par, however, Saturday and Sunday were marred by the cold wintery change and the winds that chilled much of the state.
"Attendees were treated to a wide range of exhibits, demonstrations, lecturers and entertainment across the Field Days site. Good sales were reported by vendors and this is a reflection of the confidence there is in the rural community throughout the Hunter and elsewhere". Dr Archer said.
The organisation of The Field Days are refined each year and this year the focus was on consolidating the gate entries into one location, giving much more efficient use of time and staff. Tickets were able to be purchased on-line at a discount and this proved to be attractive to some visitors.
The Field Days brings together people from throughout the Hunter who are in business, community groups, rural services or other endeavours who all have an interest in things rural and those associated with agricultural production and land management.
This was the first year the new Local Land Services was operating at Tocal Field Days. Local Land Services is a consolidation of the former Catchment Management Authority, Livestock Health and Pest Authority and NSW Department of Primary Industries Extension Services. The Field Days was also an opportunity for producers to meet the recently appointed General Manager of Hunter Land Services, Mr Brett Miners. Mr Miners presented some of the best exhibiter awards on the Saturday morning.
The Field Days are run by Tocal Field Days Association Inc. which involves staff from the College, Department of Primary Industries, Local Land Services, community and other organisations and groups. The Association works hard throughout the year in planning each event.
Dr Archer praised the staff who contributed to organisation of the event: "I pay tribute to Ms Wendy Franklin, Field Days Manager for all the effort she puts into the event, planning and hard work which has enabled us to undertake many reforms and improvements. Wendy is capably assisted by Carol Cairney who is equally dedicated to Tocal Field Days.
"I also am pleased to acknowledge and thank those groups, businesses and other organisations that make Tocal Field Days so successful." Dr Archer said.
Dr Cameron Archer
Chair, Tocal Field Days