Friendly faces at heart of popular Mid West expo

Ann RawlingsCountryman
McIntosh & Son Mingenew Midwest Expo vice-chairman Gerard Rowe.
Camera IconMcIntosh & Son Mingenew Midwest Expo vice-chairman Gerard Rowe. Credit: Justine Rowe

While exhibitors and their bedecked sites set the scene at McIntosh & Son Mingenew Midwest Expo, the hundreds of volunteers who take part every year help to make the event a reality.

At the head and heart of this team is the board of directors, a group of dedicated locals who are keen to bring their best, and the region’s best, to Expo.

For Gerard Rowe, Andrew Cosgrove, Jonathan Moss and Jarrad Spencer, being nominated for a position on the board was simply a matter of natural progression.

In their first year on the board, Expo event co-ordinator Taryn Winter said this fantastic foursome brought with them a great deal of experience gained as Expo volunteers as well as a plethora of local knowledge.

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Mr Rowe, known as “Noog” by locals, has spent many an Expo cooking steak sandwiches and setting up and packing down the grounds.

Expo board member and Geraldton Burando Hill sales representative Jonothan Moss.
Camera IconExpo board member and Geraldton Burando Hill sales representative Jonothan Moss. Credit: Justine Rowe

In his new role as vice-chairman, tasked with site design and logistics, Mr Rowe said he was looking forward to seeing the event come together.

“There is so much to look forward to, that you can’t pinpoint one thing,” he said. “It’s great seeing everyone come together in the one spot.”

From watching demonstrations by chef Theo Kalogeracos, to seeing the many machinery displays and the latest in technology, Mr Rowe said the event was a highlight on his calendar.

“It’s a good spot to catch up with people and see new technology,” he said.

“Theo Kalogeracos is going to be cooking up a storm again — he’s hinted that he will be cooking crispy-skinned barramundi, supplied by a local.”

Leigh Grange Fisheries, which will be supplying the barramundi, is an aquaculture business that operates from a braodacre farm in Morawa.

Also keen to get among the crowd this year are Mr Cosgrove and Mr Spencer.

Like Mr Rowe, the two local farmers have spent many an Expo seeing the sights and taking part in activities around the grounds.

Both remember attending the event as children alongside their families, climbing on machinery and catching up with friends from across the district.

Board members Jarrad Spencer and Andrew Cosgrove.
Camera IconBoard members Jarrad Spencer and Andrew Cosgrove. Credit: Justine Rowe

Mr Cosgrove has this year been tasked with the job of liaising with the many exhibitors to attend the event, including machinery dealers, transport specialists, livestock companies and agribusiness firms, to fashion, food and education providers.

Meanwhile, Mr Spencer has been made grounds manager, with the former electrician being able to draw on the power of past experience.

No longer in the trade, Mr Spencer said he had been back on the family farm in Yandanooka for six years.

“I help to organise the electrical side of Expo, and have input into the layout and the general set-up of the grounds,” he said.

But it is not a case of all work and no play for volunteers.

“I always like seeing the latest and greatest machinery,” Mr Spencer said. “We generally don’t buy new machinery on our farm, because we buy quality second-hand machinery, and it’s always good to have a bit of a wish list.”

The final addition to the board, Mr Moss brings to the team in-depth knowledge as an exhibitor.

As corporate partner liaison, Mr Moss said he had enjoyed being involved with Expo for the past couple of years as manager of the Burando Hill branch in Geraldton.

“I’m new to the board but have been exhibiting at Expo for a while, so when I got nominated as a board member, I jumped at it,” he said.

Mr Moss, whose family runs a farming venture and contracting business in the United Kingdom, has lived in Geraldton for the past six years.

He said he hoped the board would find his experience as an exhibitor — at both Expo and at similar events in the UK — valuable.

“It’s good to be involved,” he said. “Obviously, I’m looking forward to seeing the Burando Hill stand, but it will also be good to see the new site layout with a central bar area.”

With a new line of Bredal spreaders on show, plus sheep and cattle feeders from Universal Trailers, Burando Hill will be just one of the many machinery exhibitors to draw a crowd, with Expo offering up more than 250 reasons to walk its streets.

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