2017 Elmore Field Days kicks off

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UPDATE 5:30pm: FROM a parade of agriculture-inspired fashion to a walkway lined by vintage tractors, the Elmore Field Days has been a visual feast. 

Crowds oohed and aahed as models in the Ag Art Wear competition showcased this year’s designs on the catwalk. 

Parades will be held twice daily throughout the event, culminating in the final at 2pm on Thursday.

The warm weather meant a steady flow of customers for retailers such as the Bendigo Hat Shop, and for catering carts offering refreshing treats such as ice cream.

Originally from Sorrento, on the Italian coastline, Roberto Ocampo started making gelati after moving to Australia. 

He came from Hahndorf, in South Australia, to give people a taste for his talent.

The warm weather inspired a reminder from the Country Fire Authority, which had a display at the field days.

Now the Grand Final was over, it was time to turn our attention from football to property preparation.

Paul Tangey, of the CFA, urged people to clean up their properties and minimise the risk of fire hazards.

That included moving any potential hazards away from buildings and to a safer place.

The farming community was encouraged to formulate and implement a whole-farm fire plan, and to be aware of the fire danger rating in their area every day throughout the warmer months. 

Information can be found on the CFA website, and from local brigades. 

Members of the North West Region Community Education Group will be at the field days for the duration of the event.

EARLIER: THE sun is shining, the machinery is gleaming, and people are enjoying their time at the Elmore Field Days.

Families are making the most of the opportunity to explore the many and varied forms of agriculture represented at the event, which this year coincides with the school holidays.

Rhys Chilvers and his family have a “hobby” farm at Sutton Grange.

But with several hundred ewes, it’s a rather large hobby. 

“We just thought we’d have a look,” Mr Chilvers said of the field days. 

He and his wife were interested in looking at the motorbikes and sheep feeders. 

Their two-year-old son, Mack, was more interested in the tractors. 

Holding an inflatable hammer from one of the stalls, he was happily perched on one of the smaller machines.

Yvonne Winfield has barely missed one of the field days, thanks to her husband’s enthusiasm for it.

“It’s his day out,” she said.

But, this year, she made the most of the beautiful spring weather and brought her grandchildren along.

Mrs Winfield and her granddaughter were spotted along one of the aisles, holding bags and balloons.

It’s been a couple of years since Sandra and David Strack could make it to the field days.

However, they said it was much like they remembered it.

Mrs Strack believed that was part of the event’s appeal.

Though she said the field days had grown in size, “it’s still stayed rural.”

Whereas she said events such as the Royal Melbourne Show, which finishes today, had changed.

“That used to be rural, but now it’s just so commercial,” Mrs Strack said.

The couple runs cattle on a property in the Macedon Ranges. 

Mr Strack said the field days enabled him to keep up with the prices in the industry. 

Noel Eaton and Jim Kay were of a similar opinion.

Though both have since retired, the field days was a way to keep in touch with the agricultural sector.

Walking through the site at a leisurely pace, they relished the opportunity to have a look at what the more than 700 exhibitors were offering.

Sheep shearing demonstrations were among the attractions capturing the curiosity of the attendees. 

People were also drawn to the sight of horse-drawn farming instruments in the section devoted to demonstrations. 

Metres away from the insight into farming’s past was a creation for the future – a drone. 

The model on demonstration was fitted with a device intended to scare off birds. 

“We have farmers losing I think something in the order of about $400 million every year due to bird damage,” the demonstrator said.

The Elmore Field Days runs from 8.30am - 5.00pm on October 3 – 5 at the Elmore Events Centre.

Tickets cost $20 per adult, and $10 for children over the age of 12. 

Admission for children under the age of 12 is free.

For more information about the event, click here.