South-west Victoria’s buoyant dairy industry has had a day out in the sun, with record crowd numbers attending the 2019 Sungold field Days.
The Field Days at Allansford have been described as one of the best in its 38-year history.
“It’s been a terrific Field Days,” chairman of 33 years, Tony Rea, said of the February 13–15 event.
“I’ve been talking to exhibitors and they say they’ve been having an absolute ball. It’s amazed at how well the exhibitors have gone,” Mr Rea said.
For the first time patrons were offered free entry on the opening day, prompting a big upswing in attendance.
“We’ve probably had the most exhibitors ever and Wednesday would have been the biggest crowd we’ve had on a single day,” Mr Rea said.
“I was worried that everyone might have come for the free day but we had a great crowd again the next day; not as many as the first day but it was certainly good.”
Although final figures were not available, Mr Rea said thousands attended each day. “The free Wednesday helped to open a new market and give more people an opportunity to experience the Field Days,” he said, “but as usual there was a solid turnout of farmers which is our main market.”
The strong attendance was matched by a positive outlook.
“Farmers are a lot more positive than they were last year, and so they should be,” Mr Rea said. “The exhibitors were also very positive so that’s a good sign.
“There’s no doubt we’re in God’s corner. Dairies in some areas around here have had three inches of rain since last Thursday.
“We’re very lucky.”
Mr Rea said the 2019 event had attracted people from across south-west Victoria and beyond.
“People have come from further afield that haven’t been here before,” he said. “That’s a great promotion for dairy.
“There’s always something new every year; the exhibitors are happy and the patrons are happy; that’s all you can ask for.”