Sunshine boosts Mallee field days crowd

MALLEE Machinery Field Days organisers believe this year’s event attracted a record crowd.

The annual two-day event at Speed on Wednesday and yesterday featured more than 300 exhibitors.

Field days secretary Andrew McLean said gate takings for the first day of the event were up on last year.

“We think it may have been a record crowd,” he said.

“We don’t know exact numbers as we don’t count everyone – we go on gate takings and the prices fluctuate a bit.

“But everyone was suggesting it was a record crowd.

“We had a lot of school students on the fi rst day which helped.

“Looking at the car park it was amazing – it was full.”

Mr McLean said sunny weather on Wednesday helped boost numbers.

“Yesterday’s crowd was pretty good too and the weather was fi ne except for a cool breeze,” he said.

“With Wednesday being so good, some people thought farmers might have been out spraying and chose to come on Thursday instead.”

Australian Farmer of the Year for 2011 Robert Ruwoldt of Kewell offi cially opened the event on Wednesday afternoon.

The official opening also featured plaque presentations for the best sites.

The best undercover site was awarded to Jamie Hooper of Jamie’s Fine Dressings, while Year of the Farmer took out best small site.

Elders won the best medium site and Sunrise Ag won best large site.

Phil Eames of Sunrise Ag at Ouyen said he was pleased to win the award after many years of exhibiting.

“I thank all the crew, the Speed Lions Club and all the other exhibitors who keep coming back each year and making it worthwhile,” he said.

Mr McLean said the visitor numbers and enthusiasm from exhibitors were the highlights of the event.

He thanked the event committee and sponsors for their work.

“We will be looking for a couple of weeks off before we start planning for next year,” he said.

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