Promising season raises spirits

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Most farmers who attended the Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days had good reason to have a spring in their step.

Dowerin chairman Philip Metcalf said visitors showed renewed optimism on the promise of improved seasonal conditions.

“Both days were very well attended with most vendors reporting extra interest from the farming community, ” Mr Metcalf said.

An official gate attendance figure of 16,300 was similar to last year and there were 600 exhibitors — 70 more than in 2010.

Machinery and car dealers alike were happy with the interest. Performance West reported the sale of a Chevy Silverado 3500 LTZ on the first day, while Steve Parker of Hardi Australia said there had been a lot of genuine enquiries — albeit they hinged on the season’s finale.

Boekeman Machinery Dalwallinu sale consultant Cain Radford also noted buoyed inquiries and forward sales compared with last year’s field days.

Mr Metcalf said the theme ‘All Farms Great and Small’ was a significant element in the overall success this year.

At the opening, recognition was paid to the centenary of International Women’s Day.

Mr Metcalf said Mia Davies MLC, was asked to speak as she exemplified the role women played in agriculture.

“I’d like to reflect on the inspirational women, past and present, who trod the path to Dowerin and the Wheatbelt, helping to shape the communities, ” Ms Davies said.

She said that while the pioneering men set about clearing the land, the women created homes for their families, raised their children and began building the community.

“It was a time women were judged against the 19th century belief that we had smaller heads, our brains were smaller compared to men’s and incapable of logical thought.

“Yet women were multi-skilled and multi tasking long before it became a requirement on your resume. The women of Dowerin were no exception.”

She said from those pioneering days through to the cutting edge of business and development of agriculture today, women had played a key role in WA’s rural regions.

“We have women on the shire councils, we have women in business, women in academia, women in government, women in parliament.

“I attribute much of my sense of community, what is right and fair, my values and work ethic to the fact that I grew up in the Wheatbelt surrounded by people who put their heart and soul into their community, ” Ms Davies said.

Next on the calendar for Dowerin is the 2011 Supreme National Sheep Dog Championships from September 12 to 18.

Included in the week of activities will be a rodeo, team penning, ute muster and heaps of family entertainment at the Dowerin showgrounds.

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