Henty Machinery Field Days to go ahead in 2021 for 60th year

PUSHING ON: Henty Machinery Field Days' Nigel Scheetz and Belinda Anderson after the 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic. The 2021 event has been confirmed.
PUSHING ON: Henty Machinery Field Days' Nigel Scheetz and Belinda Anderson after the 2020 event was cancelled due to the pandemic. The 2021 event has been confirmed.

The Henty Machinery Field Days will be back this year.

After last year's forced hiatus, the single biggest agricultural event in southern Australia has been confirmed for September with the green light given to the board.

And it will be a particularly special field days, with 2021 celebrating 60 years since it began.

The three-day event, which attracts more than 60,000 visitors each year, was forced to cancel the 2020 showcase due to COVID-19 - the third time the event has ever been cancelled.

The field days are scheduled for September 21-23 with exhibitor online applications set to open on March 16 and online ticket sales for visitors to open in late July.

HMFD chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the cooperative's board gave the green light for event planning to go ahead.

With the 2019 event drawing more than 850 exhibitors on over 1200 sites, Mrs Anderson is expecting exhibitors numbers to be in excess of 850 for 2021.

"We are back with a bang this year," she said.

"Agriculture was recognised as an essential industry during the pandemic and we experienced an exceptional year where commodity prices and yields combined to allow a sustained recovery for the sector from the drought."

Mrs Anderson said the staff were working hard on a COVID-safe event, with the field days operating on a two square metre per person rule under current NSW Health restrictions.

She said public entry would operate on a contactless system with patrons pre-purchasing tickets online and scanning a QR code at the entrance gates, while exhibitors would be encouraged to use EFTPOS facilities.

Mrs Anderson said there would be an additional level of sanitisation of amenities and COVID marshalls to monitor social distancing in order to protect the health of patrons, exhibitors, volunteers and staff.

"Henty this year coincides with the NSW and Victorian school holidays, and 2021 marks 60 years since the field days were conceived as a one day header school at the Henty showground in 1961," she said.

"The field days will have all the usual attractions including the prestigious Henty Machine of the Year Award and the working sheep dog trials."

This story Henty Field Days locked in for 2021 with planning given green light first appeared on The Border Mail.