Posted: 27th June 2020
Posted in: News
The Covid-19 pandemic is threatening the existence of the nation’s agricultural and machinery field days which its peak body says will hurt farmers, local communities and the economy.
With field days around Australia cancelled or postponed, the Association of Agricultural Field Days of Australasia (AAFDA) is calling on the Australian government to support local field days’ committees.
AAFDA’s secretary and the manager of the NSW Hunter region’s Tocal Field Days, Wendy Franklin, said its members are seeking funding to cover losses associated with the cancellation of events due to Covid 19. Ms Franklin said interest free loans would help event committees to get back on their feet and set up future events.
She said Australia’s field days generate millions of dollars which are ultimately put back into the community through grants and charity donations.
“Field days play a vital role in educating the community about the importance of agriculture, and its contribution to Australian’s kitchens and to the economy,” Ms Franklin said.
They connect farmers to suppliers and each other to facilitate innovation and best practice farming,” she said.
“Field Days support jobs, farmers and regional communities.”
“Hundreds of thousands of Australian families visit field days each year.”
“In addition to the economic benefits, charities and community groups rely on field days for fundraising, exposure and support to rural communities.”
Ms Franklin said most field days are run using volunteer committees with often part time support from a paid event co-ordinator. They don’t have big reserves of money.
“Those committees and the community will benefit from funding and support to give committee members and staff new skills in business management, digital marketing and using social media.
She said farmers and field days have successfully battled flood, drought, fires and, with support, they will not let Coronavirus destroy these important community events.
“Our nation’s field days organisers need a little helping hand to continue to bring fun, family friendly, economically beneficial events post the Covid-19 crisis.
“Make sure you visit your local field day when it returns to your community.”
Many Australian field days have been operating for several decades. The Australian National Field Days was the first, starting in 1952.
AAFDA represents 21 field days events in Australia and New Zealand. For information about AAFDA or local field days visit www.aafda.com.au