No bull: the biggest Henty Machinery Field Days yet | Photos, Video

There’s not much room on the road as the latest machinery rolls into town for the biggest Henty Machinery Field Days ever.  

Preparations for an epic three days are in full swing, with organisers expecting 60,000 people through the gates to inspect more than $120 million worth of machinery and goods. 

It’s a weekend calling for walking shoes, this year boasting more than 14km of outdoor shop front at the 105 hectare site. 

HMFD chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said this year’s field days were the largest on record.

“The interest in the field days from exhibitors and visitors alike continues to grow year-on- year with the site being the biggest its ever been in terms of physical area,’’ Mrs Anderson said.

“The HMFD team works hard to ensure Henty maintains its mantle of the friendliest field days, and our exhibitor and visitor experience continues to be enhanced.’’

The huge offering has something for everyone with demonstration agronomy plots showcasing the latest cereals, the Natural Fibre Fashion Awards, chainsaw carving, vintage farm machinery, and farm innovators young and old debuting their ideas at the AgriInnovators stall. 

Faces old and new have come together to pull off the 54th annual event, with Wagga’s own Rick Priest among them. 

It would be a very quiet show without Mr Priest on board, who’s celebrating 25 years of involvement in the show. 

From 1992, Mr Priest made the event sing, booming PA announcements and Radio Henty 107.3 out of his caravan equipped with battery operated two way radios.

He’s back with his caravan this year, on PA duties for the sheep and yard dog trials. 

“One of the changes over the years at Henty has nothing to do with farming and agriculture but is men’s health,’’ Mr Priest said.

“It didn’t exist but all of a sudden it turned up and is now very important.’’

The Australian Men’s Shed Association is the chosen charity for this year’s Henty Machinery Field Days, a cause close to Mr Priest’s heart. 

He was foundation president of the Wagga Men’s Shed in 2008 and now serves as the junior vice president.

The Wagga and Thurgoona men’s sheds will combine to stage a display in 9th Farm Avenue.

“There is laughter and stories going on all the time here – we see a lot of men suffering from depression after retiring or losing their partners, and the shed turns their lives around.

Gates open from 8am to 5pm on Tuesday, September 19, with adult tickets $22, children 12 to 16 years $5, and children under 12 free when accompanied by an adult.

PROGRAM

DAY ONE Tuesday, September 19

  • 8am: Exelpet Sheep and Yard Dog trials start
  • 9am: Wagga Air Centre’s joy flights begin.
  • 9.30am: Chainsaw sculpting with Angie Polglaze near The Stump
  • 9.30am: Country Lifestyle program begins.
  • 9.30am: Farm Gate Market Produce pavilion program begins.
  • 10am-11.30am: noon: Guest UK artists Lauren Diffey and Oli Crawford Craig perform at the Farm Gate stage (southern end)
  • 10am-12 noon: Artist Kerri Weymouth invites the public to participate in a collaborative artwork at the Landcare shed.
  • 10.30am: Australian Army Band Kapooka acoustic ensemble performs at The Stump.
  • 10.30am: Drone demonstration by UAV Falcon at the agronomy plots.
  • 11am: Official opening by Mark Bennett, Head of Agribusiness and Emerging Corporate, Regional Australia, ANZ, and presentation of the 2017 HMFD Machine of the Year Award at The Stump.
  • 11am: Champion axeman and men’s health advocate David Foster appears at Atlantic Oils site.
  • 11am: Demonstration of the new 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill by Bourgault on the Local Land Services plot site.
  • 11am: George the Farmer performance at Hutcheon & Pearce site 489-498 Block M.
  • 12.15pm – 1pm: Australian Army Band Kapooka acoustic ensemble performs at The Stump.
  • Lunch break: Natural horsemanship entertainment and education with Tim O’Brien and the Boggy Creek Show at Exelpet sheep and yard dog trial site.
  • 12 noon:  Dreamfields artist Lachlan Mitchell performs at the Farm Gate stage (southern end).
  • 1pm: 2017 HMFD Natural Fibres Fashion Awards parade with prize money of over $5000 across all sections. Competition to be judged on Thursday.
  • 1pm: Champion axeman and men’s health advocate David Foster appears at Atlantic Oils site.
  • 1pm: Demonstration of the new 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill by Bourgault on the Local Land Services plot site.
  • 1pm-4pm: Artist Kerri Weymouth invites the public to participate in a collaborative artwork at the Landcare shed.
  • 1.30pm: Chainsaw sculpting with Angie Polglaze near The Stump
  • 1.30pm-2.30pm: Guest UK artists Lauren Diffey and Oli Crawford Craig perform at the Farm Gate stage (southern end)
  • 2pm: George the Farmer performance at Hutcheon & Pearce site 489-498 Block M.
  • 2pm: Hon, Bronnie Taylor MLC will announce the fox dog lotto winners at the Local Land Services Shed, site 311.
  • 2.30pm: Country Lifestyle exhibitor fashion parade
  • 2.30pm: Drone demonstration by UAV Falcon at the agronomy plots.
  • 3pm: Demonstration of the new 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill by Bourgault on the Local Land Services plot site.
  • 5pm: Helicopter joy flights finish. Gates close.

DAY TWO Wednesday, September 20 

  • 8am: Exelpet Sheep and Yard Dog trials start
  • 9am: Wagga Air Centre’s helicopter joy flights start.
  • 9am: Chainsaw artistry with chainsaw sculptor Angie Polglaze near The Stump.
  • 9.30am: Country Lifestyle program starts.
  • 10am: Farm Gate Market program begins.
  • 10am-12noon: Artist Kerri Weymouth invites the public to participate in a collaborative artwork at the Landcare shed.
  • 10am-12 noon: TV celebrity chef James Neeson films a segment of Alive & Cooking at Farm Gate.
  • 10.30am: UK guest music artists Lauren Diffey and Oli Crawford Craig perform at the Farm Gate stage.
  • 10.30am: Official launch of “HST – The Headlie Taylor Story” by Kylie King and West Wyalong Movies at The Stump.
  • 10.30am: Drone demonstration by UAV Falcon at the agronomy plots.
  • 11am: Winner of the Henty Agri-Innovators Award announced at The Stump
  • 11am: Country Lifestyle exhibitor fashion parade
  • 11am: Champion axeman and men’s health advocate David Foster appears at Atlantic Oils site.
  • 11am: Demonstration of the new 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill by Bourgault on the Local Land Services plot site.
  • 11am: George the Farmer performance at Hutcheon & Pearce site 489-498 Block M.
  • 11.30am: New Holland celebrates 100 years of tractor production with a display of the new autonomous tractor at Block F 249-253 & 271-274.
  • Lunch break: Natural horsemanship entertainment and education with Tim O’Brien and the Boggy Creek Show at Exelpet sheep and yard dog trial site.
  • 12 noon: 2017 Toyota Star Maker Rachael Fahim performs on the Farm Gate stage (southern end).
  • 12.30pm: Yanco Agricultural High School drum corps entertain at The Stump.
  • 1pm: 2017 HMFD Natural Fibres Fashion Awards with prize money totalling over $5000 across all sections. Competition to be judged on Thursday.
  • 1.15pm-2.30pm: UK guest artists Lauren Diffey and Oli Crawford Craig perform on the Farm Gate sound stage.
  • 1pm: Champion axeman and men’s health advocate David Foster appears at Atlantic Oils site.
  • 1pm: The Scots School pipe band entertains at The Stump.
  • 1pm: Demonstration of the new 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill by Bourgault on the Local Land Services plot site.
  • 1pm-4pm: Artist Kerri Weymouth invites the public to participate in a collaborative artwork at the Landcare shed.
  • 1.30pm: NSW Farmers’ Association president Derek Schoen speaks at The Stump.
  • 1.45pm: “Thank a Farmer for Your Next Meal” creator Sam Johnston speaks at The Stump.
  • 2pm: Chainsaw artistry with chainsaw sculptor Angie Polglaze near The Stump
  • 2pm: George the Farmer performance at Hutcheon & Pearce site 489-498 Block M.
  • 2pm-4pm: TV celebrity chef James Neeson films a segment of Alive & Cooking at Farm Gate.
  • 2.30pm: Country Lifestyle vintage and exhibitor fashion parade
  • 2.30pm: Drone demonstration by UAV Falcon at the agronomy plots.
  • 3pm: Demonstration of the new 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill by Bourgault on the Local Land Services plot site.
  • 5pm: Helicopter joy flights finish. Gates close.

DAY THREE Thursday, September 21 

  • 8am: Exelpet Sheep and Yard Dog trials start.
  • 9am: Wagga Air Centre helicopter joy flights start.
  • 9.30am: Chainsaw sculpting with Angie Polglaze near The Stump
  • 9.30am: Country Lifestyle program starts
  • 9.30am: Farm Gate Market Produce pavilion program begins.
  • 10am: Global agricultural leader Case IH celebrates 175 years of production with a ceremony at The Stump.
  • 10.30am-11.30am: Dreamfields musician Chelsea Knight performs on the Farm Gate sound stage.
  • 10.30am: 11am: Country Lifestyle exhibitor fashion parade.
  • 10.30am: 40th anniversary celebration of the Henty vintage farm machinery display – cake cutting at The Stump by the Henty & District Antique Farm Machinery Club.
  • 11am: Champion axeman and men’s health advocate David Foster appears at Atlantic Oils site.
  • 11am: Demonstration of the new 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill by Bourgault at the Local Land Services plot site.
  • 11am: George the Farmer performance at Hutcheon & Pearce site 489-498 Block M.
  • 11am: Tahlia “Tot” Thomson will have her head shaved to raise funds for Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre at The Stump. People are welcome to join in for the cause.
  • 12 noon-1.15pm: UK guest artists Lauren Diffey and Oli Crawford Craig perform on the Farm Gate stage (southern end)
  • Lunch break: Natural horsemanship entertainment and education with Tim O’Brien and the Boggy Creek Show at Exelpet sheep and yard dog trial site.
  • 1pm: Judging of the 2017 Henty Natural Fibre Fashion and Accessories awards.
  • 1.15pm-2.30pm: Dreamfields musician Chelsea Knight performs on the Farm Gate sound stage
  • 1pm: Champion axeman and men’s health advocate David Foster appears at Atlantic Oils site.
  • 1pm: Demonstration of the new 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill by Bourgault on the Local Land Services plot site.
  • 1.30pm: Presentation of the Greater Hume Shire Award for the Best Australian Manufactured Machine at The Stump by mayor Cr Heather Wilton.
  • 1.30pm: Exelpet Sheep and Yard Dog trials finals followed by presentations.
  • 2pm: George the Farmer performance at Hutcheon & Pearce site 489-498 Block M.
  • 2pm: Chainsaw sculpting with Angie Polglaze near The Stump
  • 2.30pm: Country Lifestyle exhibitor fashion parade.
  • 3pm: Demonstration of the new 3420 PHD Paralink Hoe Drill by Bourgault on the Local Land Services plot site.
  • 4pm: Gate prize draw of $1000 fuel voucher for use at Caltex Service Stations Australia wide courtesy Tasco Petroleum.
  • 5pm: Helicopter joy flights finish. Gates close.