Wimmera Machinery Field Days 2018: Friends enjoy a chance to catch up

Ken Irwin, St Arnaud, and Garry Knights, Drouin, enjoy a catch-up at the field days. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI
Ken Irwin, St Arnaud, and Garry Knights, Drouin, enjoy a catch-up at the field days. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

MANY who visit the Wimmera Machinery Field Days have a specific item in mind to look at or dealer they need to visit.

But others use the event as purely a social opportunity – a chance to have a chinwag with old mates.

Ken Irwin and Garry Knights live on opposite sides of the state, but always make time to catch up at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days.

They enjoyed a day out at the event on Wednesday.

The field days has been an annual fixture on the two men’s calendars for at least the past seven years.

The pair are from different farming backgrounds – broadacre and dairy respectively – but have formed a common bond through their agricultural roots.

Mr Knights is from Drouin, and enjoys seeing a different side to farming while in the Wimmera.

“Being from Gippsland, it’s all dairy down our way – it’s completely different,” he said.

Mr Knights said catching up with friends and seeing machinery he was unfamiliar with was a drawcard of the Wimmera event.

Mr Irwin is far more familiar with cropping; he hails from St Arnaud.

He said the industry was completely different to when he was farming alongside his father decades ago.

“My father has been gone about 30 years, and from that time I’ve never been near a farm – only to go and see Garry,” he said.

“We go to the Farm World field day at Lardner Park in Gippsland every year, and we always come here and have a look.

“We like all the big machinery, and try to work out how it works.”

Mr Irwin said he could not imagine farming in its current form when he was growing up.

“The technology is just unbelievable,” he said.

“I remember even the old horses and ploughs.

“We were looking at precision control vehicles earlier with no driver in the tractor. The farmers will be able to have their coffees while the farm is still getting ploughed.”

Mr Knights said he could recall farming with ‘a Little Grey Fergie’.

This was the name commonly given to the Ferguson TE20 tractor designed by Harry Ferguson, and used in the 1940s and 50s.

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