Dowerin salute to 55 years with ‘our story’
History counts, especially when you are one of Australia’s biggest agricultural field days.
The Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days will mark 55 years since inception next August, an achievement not lost on the community, and organisers have already set the wheels in motion for a celebratory affair like no other.
With a theme of “Celebrating Our Story”, 2019 will see the Dowerin Field Days delve deep into the past — and present — to share what has made the event so successful.
Event co-ordinator Kahli Rose said the aim next year was to “get back to our roots”.
“Without our volunteers, the field days would not be possible, and that also extends to our exhibitors — quite a lot have been with us since the beginning,” she said. “So we think it is really important to thank everyone who has helped make our event what it is today.”
From a new interactive pavilion that aims to educate young and old on all things farming — complete with miniature shearing shed — to an Experience Agriculture story hub outlining the field days champions of past and present, the field days will bring WA agriculture to the fore.
Event co-ordinator Tiffany Davey said the pavilion was unique to the Dowerin Field Days.
Ms Davey said more than 500 students from rural and metropolitan schools would be attending the event, with one point of interest set to be the “ask a farmer” area.
Including junior and senior farmers and university students studying ag-related disciplines, participants will be able to speak honestly and face-to-face with those from within the industry.
“We are educating, not intimidating — this will allow them to ask any questions they like,” she said.
Within the story hub, visitors will be able to take in images from the past and read into what keeps the event ticking.
It all began in 1965 with a total of 20 exhibitors, with the one-day event attracting about 2000 visitors. In the past two years, exhibitor numbers have reached more than 750 and visitor numbers are about 25,000 for the two-day event.
Many exhibitors can count 40 years and more on their field days score card, while some, such as Elders, can boast record attendance.
The event brings in about 300 volunteers annually from more than 180 local organisations, some of which are up to 100km away from Dowerin.
“We have been touching base over the past year with our volunteers to put together our Face of the Field Days stories — we have about 15 so far — and we are also planning to talk to exhibitors to gather their stories,” Ms Rose said.
“It is really about celebrating the story of everyone.”
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