Brookton’s Eagle Eye Engineering take out two awards at Newdegate Machinery Field Days
Innovative designs, unique ventures and educational endeavours were celebrated at the Newdegate Machinery Field Days exhibitor awards ceremony.
Across the machinery, livestock, wool, family interest, and art sections, agribusinesses and stallholders had gone to great lengths to put together impressive displays showcasing their products.
On the Thursday morning, the winners of the display awards were presented in the Family Interest Pavilion, followed by the winners of the three invention awards.
GRDC grower relations manager Rachel Asquith said it was a “nice surprise” to take home the best marketing and financial services display award.
The research and development organisation had paired with the GRDC-funded Centre for Crop and Disease Management for its display, where CCDM researchers ran a “strawberry DNA extraction” activity.
“The idea was to teach kids about DNA ... and just get them engaged in science,” she said.
Eagle Eye Engineering added the new release award and new innovation award to its trophy haul this year, for the company’s Calibre Spraying unit and smartphone-controlled trail feeder.
It comes after the Brookton-based company took home wins at the Mingenew Midwest Expo and Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days.
“We were really happy to take two awards — we didn’t really expect it,” director Daniel Watkins said. “We thought we had two very special things here, and we didn’t expect to win both.
“For many years all of this has been happening in the background, and for it to come to a head now and be acknowledged is really great.”
Lewisdale stud owner Ray Lewis of Wickepin was pleased to win the stud stock display award. “It’s great to be here ... it’s great to see the sheep and wool industry on an upward trend and with a good season, it’s all good for the future of the sheep industry,” he said.
For Newdegate born-and-bred Sally Pell, winning the family interest display award was the cherry on top of her visit back to her home town for the Field Days.
“It was a real surprise, I definitely wasn’t expecting that — I’m totally thrilled,” Mrs Pell said.
The keen sewer — who is now based in Torbay — has been making babies’ and kids’ clothing since 2013 under her brand Sally C Australia, but in the past few years has put most of her focus into upcycling vintage wool blankets into clothing.
Sourcing them from op shops, online and from people who give them to her, the seamstress transforms them into jackets, vests and hot water bottle covers.
It is a way of turning a treasured family blanket into another heirloom which can be passed down through generations, Mrs Pell said. “There’s a real rich history behind each blanket, they’re sentimental for people,” she said.
“Some people even bring their family blankets — it was their grandparents’ or parents’ — and I use that to make their children jackets or hot water bottle covers as something they can have forever.”
Mrs Pell said they were durable, unique and eco-friendly, and a way of giving new life to an old blanket.
“They’re extremely warm, wash really well ... and they just last and are able to be handed on ... it’s like a family heirloom,” she said.
“These blankets are nearly 50 years old already and are amazing.”
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