While the ongoing drought continues to be a concern for rural and regional communities, events like annual shows and the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days (MSFFD) continue to lift farmers spirits and brighten their local communities. Aside from being a great place to learn about new and innovative farming techniques and machinery, General Manager and Organiser of the MSFFD, Cassandra Stanford, said they provide a chance for people to get away from the farm, have a day out and connect with others. "Community events are the backbone of a small town and these events are so important for community groups," she said. "The field days are a not-for-profit charity and we're self-funded, so entry fees ensure the event continues. There are also so many other community groups involved in the event".
The MSFFD try to employ local groups for whatever tasks they can, from gate keeping and parking to parcel pickup and catering. Local groups include the SES, Rescue Squad, multiple RFS brigades, sports clubs, school P&C's, Landcare, Masons and Mens Shed, with the field days becoming the major fundraiser for a lot of these groups. While raising much needed funds, these groups also ensure that the MSFFD run smoothly which is no easy task given the massive amount of things for people to do across the two days. Ms Stanford said they had spent a lot of time and effort producing the Official Program with the aim of highlighting what is on offer across the site.
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"It gives people the opportunity to plan their visit as we know some visitors highlight specific demonstrations or stalls they wish to visit and completely schedule their day. If you're set on seeing something in particular, we'd recommend browsing through the program prior to arriving, so you know when your desired activity is on," she said "Some people prefer to just stroll leisurely around the site and see what takes their fancy. The great thing about being two days is visitors can always come back if they didn't catch everything they hoped to".
With cool temperatures and clear skies forecast, Ms Stanford said they will go ahead ahead rain, hail or shine. "Visitors know to dress warm and have an umbrella on stand by for the event," she said. "It can rain for a week after the event is over".