Ag-Grow field days cancelled

Emerald Ag-Grow field days cancelled for 2020

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Ag-Grow Emerald Field Days managing director Geoff Dein, manager Donna Reeves and event announcer Neale Stuart at the 2019 event.

Ag-Grow Emerald Field Days managing director Geoff Dein, manager Donna Reeves and event announcer Neale Stuart at the 2019 event.

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Emerald's Ag-Grow field days have been cancelled for 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions.

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EMERALD'S Ag-Grow field days have been cancelled for 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions.

Organisers had rescheduled the event, which is held annually in June, and it was set to take place over three days from August 27-29.

But despite their best efforts, the event has been cancelled just three weeks out after they were unable to meet strict Queensland Health imposed guidelines.

Ag-Grow managing director Geoff Dein said he was bitterly disappointed that the event would be unable to proceed in 2020.

He said organisers had worked diligently to come up with a COVID-Safe plan, but the restrictions were such that if it did go ahead, "it wouldn't be a field day."

Mr Dein said the committee was now looking toward a bright comeback in June, 2021.

"We now have a year to work on what we are going to do, and it will very much be a well oiled machine next year.

"No doubt it will be bigger and better in 2021, with the amount of support from the exhibitors, it just brings you to tears.

"They have been totally supportive and understanding."

Mr Dein said the Ag-Grow Premier Ridden horse sale would still go ahead as normal on Saturday, July 29 from 10am at the field days site with online bidding available through Elite Livestock Auctions.

"The horse sale will go ahead as normal, we've already done the bull sale and that was quite successful, so now we're looking ahead to a June event next year."

The cancellation is also a bitter blow for event announcer Neale Stuart, who has not missed an Ag-Grow Field Days in the 30 years it has been running.

"I've seen it go from when they had 76 exhibitors to what they have today with over 30,000 people through the gates," Mr Stuart said.

He said he was involved with 18 other shows and events around the country, and all rural areas were suffering with the cancellations.

Mr Stuart said he'd done a road-trip through western Queensland recently and everyone he spoke to said the same thing.

"People have been through six or seven years of drought, in some cases they are trying to remain viable and they're barely able to stay afloat, they don't need another kick in the guts.

"The publicans, service stations, other businesses are all saying the same thing.

"There has been no cases out there at all.

"We're encouraging people to get out in Queensland and see the country and spend money in the towns, yet we're not allowed to put on a field day, which would drawn people from the border to the Gulf to buy bulls, horses, working dogs, tractors.

"It is disappointing as it is only once a year that these people get to support the vendors and exhibitors to that come to the region.

"Now they will have to go without or wait for 12 months, or have the added cost of freight to get livestock or machinery from the eastern seaboard."

Mr Stuart encouraged everyone to support their local shows and field days when they returned and urged people to travel to rural areas to bolster their economies.

"Anything that anybody can do to support our rural sector, put it on the calendar to spend time and money in the bush in 2021."

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