Article courtesy of Stock & Land, Tyson Cattle

BCG field day hailed for quality speaker line up

THE BCG Main Field Day at Berriwillock last Wednesday has been declared one of its best.

Attracting a crowd of close to 500, the event delivered on its promise to educate, entertain and inform.  Farmers from as far away as the Riverina,

Central Victoria and the South Australia joined hundreds from the Wimmera and allee who took the opportunity to meet industry experts, hear from top public speakers and witness first-hand research in their region.

Preceding the official opening, the Wimmera branch of the Rural Press Club hosted a panel discussion focusing on the representation of agriculture in the media.

The panel, which comprised ABC broadcast journalist Kirsten Veness, Stock & Land editor Tyson Cattle, Rupanyup farmer Andrew Weidemann and Advertiser Kate Magee (Aubrey and Areegra) discussed and debated how changes in media consumption and delivery were being negotiated, and the challenges and opportunities these changes presented.

All agreed that it was important to present agriculture as a modern industry, particularly as consumers were increasingly looking for information about where their food comes from.

“Let’s tell the modern, positive story about farmers,” said Mr Weidemann.

“If we, as farmers, are negative, then that’s the result.”

The Main Field Day was officially declared open to a capacity-filled marquee by BCG Chairman Caroline Welsh after an enlightening season overview provided
by site hosts Garry Summerhayes and John Renney.

The trial tours were popular with a high level of interest in research investigating risk management, seed treatments, micronutrients, liquid fertiliser
options, grazing cereal crops, oat varieties, early sowing, row spacings, inoculant use on beans and barley and canola varieties.

Morning presentations on strategic grain marketing and site specific weed management were also well received.

After lunch a capacity crowd again filled the marquee to hear Nandaly farm consultant Matt Elliott present information on the range of seeding systems
now available and how each might fit into a particular farming system.

The machinery focus continued with CTF Solutions consultant Wayne Chapman and Swan Hill farmer Ross Watson going through the process of implementing a controlled traffic farming system.

A highlight was the presentation by keynote speaker Dennis Holberg.  Founder of Lessons Learnt Consulting, with a special interest in building resilience, Mr Holberg engaged the audience with humour while delivering a serious message.  

“You can’t look after your businesses if you don’t look after yourselves,” he said. 

In the face of statistics that show that 20 per cent of Australians experience depression at some time and with suicide the leading cause of death for people between 15-44 years (particularly males), Mr Holberg said resilience, the ability to bounce forwarded thrive through change and challenge, was
never more important.

These were important messages, particularly as many of the farmers in the room were justifably concerned about how this growing season may end.

While most are remaining optimistic, evidenced by the up-beet mood during the day, Bureau of Meterology forecaster Eun-Pa Lim and DEDJTR seasonal risk analyst Dale Grey reported that “most” forecasting models were indicating an average to dry finish.

For details, or to become a member, phone BCG on (03) 5492 2787.