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Supporting customers and rural communities has always been a hallmark of Hutcheon & Pearce and that focus continues with the company’s expansion into northern NSW.

The recent acquisition of the Peel Valley Group’s Tamworth, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Quirindi and Wee Waa dealerships means the H&P difference will now stretch well into the north of the state.

As chief executive officer Arron Hutcheon explains, the acquisition is not about getting bigger for the sake of it.

“For us, it’s about scaling so we can better invest in our people, premises and processes to continue to not only add genuine value to our customer’s operations but exceed their expectations with our truly industry leading solutions,” Mr Hutcheon said. 

“The acquisition of these five dealerships will allow us to sustainably manage the peaks and troughs inherent in agriculture. 

“It’s an investment in our business and in supporting our customers now and into the future with the best machinery, the best technology, and the best team. 

“With increased buying power, we have better chances of working around those supply chain issues that have hit the industry recently and by sharing all our resources, including expertise, everybody benefits from having a larger team.”

For Arron, continuing the legacy of another family business has also been part of the decision.

“This is also an exciting opportunity for Hutcheon & Pearce to build on the strong traditions put in place by another Australian multi-generational family-owned business,” he said.

“Great relationships don’t happen overnight, and we’ve had a long association with the Johns family. We are both Australian multi-generational, family-owned businesses who are really proud to serve their customers and communities, and Australian ag. We’ve always supported each other, and this new chapter has been a long time in the making. 

“We fully intend to continue the family approach to business and our new customers can have confidence that we will bring our 69 years of experience in the industry to the already outstanding local sales, parts and service teams.”

Arron said the similar agricultural commodities and the existing expertise in these businesses made the decision to expand north a perfect fit for H&P.

“We’ve gotten to know a bit about the operation in the Peel and Namoi valleys and we saw the similarities between the businesses,” he said.

“Also, having a long history in the small grains, hay, cotton and livestock segments throughout NSW and Northern Victoria and a growing interest in cotton, Hutcheon & Pearce really is in a prime position to ensure a smooth transition for customers and staff. 

“Now with 18 locations, our new and existing customers have access to more resources, support and expertise than ever before and I look forward to meeting customers to hear how we can best support their needs now and into the future.”

This year Chris Cabot, Wagga Air Centre’s chief pilot, celebrates 20 years of conducting helicopter joy rides for visitors, giving them a bird’s eye view of the field days and surrounding landscape.

With district canola crops around the field day site expected to be in full flower, the sight from the air is bound to be breathtaking.

Henty farmers wanting an aerial photograph of their farm can pre-book a flight in Wagga Air Centre’s helicopter at this year’s field days.

Mr Cabot said the 10-minute flights in a Robinson R44 helicopter ($90 per person, minimum two passengers), could be booked on-line, with local farmers who want to photograph their property also catered for (priced separately).

Chris began flying as a hobby in a Piper Warrior, using it for family holidays.

In 1990, the Cabots established Cabair Charter Service, using a twin-engine aircraft for mining contracts and Royal Flying Doctor Service charter work in northern Queensland and the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The business became Wagga Air Centre in 1996, runs a fleet of 12 aircraft and one helicopter and offers ground school theory programs from Recreational Private and Commercial Pilot Licences to Airline Transport Pilot Licence. 

A joint venture was established in 2021 with Sureflight Australia to take corporate business travel in the region to the next level with fly-direct options. 

Australian design innovation in the agricultural industry is recognised through the Greater Hume Council Award presented at Henty.

A southern NSW designed and manufactured grouper bin won the coveted 2019 award.

It recognises the best new Australian designed and built agricultural machine and will be judged by a panel of independent judges at the Henty Machinery Field Days on September 22.

In 2019 it was presented by Greater Hume Council’s Terry Weston and Henty Machinery Field Days director Matt Noll to Kaidan and Dallas Boyd, Clear Ridge Fabrication, West Wyalong, for the CRF SUPA Bin 42000.

Launched in time for the autumn sowing season, the CRF SUPA Bin 42000 is the result of growers wanting a bin to reduce fill-up times and contamination between seed and fertiliser for air seeders.

Traditionally, the Boyd family crop 3441ha of wheat, barley and canola north of West Wyalong.

When the drought took hold, the family made the decision to lease out their farm and the two brothers combined their talents as qualified welders.

Kaidan said Clear Ridge had planned to attend Henty in 2020-2021 but the cancellation of field days around the nation had enabled them to concentrate on building the business and launching the SUPA Bin 44000 ST for the 2021 harvest. 

“The exposure from the field days, combined with winning the award at Henty, ensured the phone has kept ringing,” he said.

The business has outgrown their first new workshop with another larger one recently completed where the brothers have streamlined the fabrication process to keep up with demand.

The business employs 10 staff including some casuals with Dallas ad Kaidan mainly involved with fitting the bins out after painting, as well as overseeing the work of their welding team. 

In 2020 due to huge demand, the first SUPA TUBE was fitted to a SUPA Bin as an optional extra.

“Farmers were looking for a way to transfer product safely, efficiently and importantly, contamination free from the grouper into their air seeders,” Kaidan said.

“With terrific cropping seasons in 2020, 2021 and now 2022 looking promising, many farmers are interested in updating their groupers and the SUPA BIN/SUPA TUBE combination has been described as the Rolls Royce in groupers when farmers consider their options.”

The SUPA TUBE is a 250mm hydraulically driven tubulator that mounts on the rear left corner of the grouper. It has a hydraulic bifold action enabling it to deliver product to any point in a 180-degree arc at the rear of the bin. 

The tubulator is available in any length between 6 and 10 metres, and its delivery height, which is adjusted hydraulically, is anywhere between 2.5 and 5.5m from ground level.

The tubulator has the capacity to deliver product at a rate of up to two tonnes per minutes. When not in use, the SUPA TUBE tucks in neatly, all by remote control, up along the left side of the bin and when in its transport position, is fully RMS compliant (NSW) in width and length. 

The SUPA BIN and SUPA TUBE are both fully remotely controlled for added efficiency, convenience, and safety. The remote functions available include engine start, engine throttle control, tubulator unfold and swing, tubulator raise and lower, product delivery belt, compartment doors and work lights. 

“While mainly designed with the grain farmer in mind, the SUPA BIN/SUPA TUBE combination is suitable for multiple applications and is also in demand with mixed farmers for filling stock feeders,” Kaidan said.

“Some farmers have commented their SUPA BIN is a versatile piece of equipment for carting harvest grain into the bulk handling system, filling silo bags and air seeders, transferring grain or fertiliser to other trucks, bins and silos, or filling fertiliser spreaders and stock feed bins. 

“The standard groupers are 6m long and have two compartments with a combined capacity of 22,000 litres. The most common option is two 6m bins mounted on a 12m skel trailer using the twist locks to securely hold the bins in place.

“This option provides a total capacity of 44,000 litres and four compartments. Having four compartments gives the user the advantage of being able to fill the bin with one to four different products and the ability to blend any of those products by opening the compartment doors.”

The award-winning creators of “George the Farmer” will return this year in guest performances at the Hutcheon & Pearce site at the field days.

The trio will be performing daily at 489-498 Block M at 11am and 2pm.

This year’s performance will include a reading of their 2021 hit book “Beef Bonanza” where the Farmer family’s road trip to Rockhampton for the southern hemisphere’s largest beef expo is almost a wash out when an unexpected downpour causes severe flooding in NSW.

After travelling through Wagga Wagga, George comes to the rescue of a Moree farming mate who needs to shift her stud cows to higher ground – but will he still make it to the bull sale on time?

Their latest book release, The Great Forest Hunt, is the twelfth in the series and will also be available for purchase and signings along with the rest of their titles.

In addition to best-selling books and catchy tunes, George, his wife Ruby, and children, Jack and Lucy, have also inspired a series of paddock-to-plate videos featured on YouTube and ABC TV, plush toys, clothing, merchandise and free curriculum-aligned teaching guides.

Co-founder of George the Farmer, Simone Kain, said educating children about where food and fibre comes from remains at the heart of everything they do.

“But we’re also really keen to showcase different types of farming, different careers in agriculture, and the innovative technology now used by the sector – agriculture is a really exciting and progressive space,” she said.

A new partnership with Farmsafe Australia has also seen the release of a new animated music video and free curriculum-aligned teaching resource focused on farm safety for kids. 

“Kids can have incredible life experiences on farms – yet they can be exposed to workplace hazards and risks. Unfortunately, these hazards and risks result in serious injuries each year,” Simone said.

She said the partnership was a natural fit.

“Growing up on a farm, I’m acutely aware of how dangerous a place they can be. I know many people who have sustained life-threatening injuries or who have died.”

The latest research by AgHealth Australia indicated water bodies, quad bikes, side-by-side vehicles, tractors, utes, cars, motorbikes and horses combined account for 75 per cent of fatalities on farm, while drowning accounted for 31 per cent of deaths.

“Partnering with Farmsafe Australia provides an excellent opportunity to use our brand platform creatively and entertainingly to help reduce these frightening numbers,” Simone said. 

George the Farmer co-creator and musician Ben Hood said they couldn’t wait to sing the new Farm Safety song to the kids at Henty.

Other paddock to plate videos and complementary free teaching resources can be found on the George the Farmer’s website and YouTube channel.

 

Children of all ages love their yearly trip to the Henty field days and to make the big day out a lot easier on carers, a free family resting place has been provided.

Henty Early Childhood Association parent volunteers will staff the area, located in Petticoat Lane, from 9am to 5pm each day.

The Family Resting Place provides children, parents, grandparents and carers with a large, covered fenced-in play area, separate nappy changing area, high chairs, cubicles for breast-feeding and pram parking bay.

A kitchenette has a microwave and fridge.

Staff and parent volunteers from the association run the Family Resting Place on a roster system.

Carers can take a break in the informal space, while children play with the toys, books, games and chalk boards supplied.

Old Kentucky Animal Farm will be located out the front and have an array of animals for children to interact with.

The facility is not a child-minding centre and children must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years at all times and COVID safe measure in place must be adhered to at all times while using the service.

Grain handling equipment, interior décor, fresh bread and financial products were among the winners of the 2019 Henty Machinery Field Days Exhibitor Awards.

The awards were presented by HMFD CEO Belinda Anderson to the winners of the Best Outdoor Large Commercial, Best Outdoor General and Best Indoor Exhibitor sites – Farm Gate Produce Market and Country Lifestyle.

This year’s winners will be announced on Wednesday, September 22 at The Stump at 10.30am.

Grain handling equipment manufacturer Grainline, Wagga Wagga, won the Best Outdoor General, while Rabobank took out the Best Outdoor Large Commercial.

Jindera interior décor business and first time exhibitor, Jodie Takle, Jo & Co Interiors, won the Best Indoor site in Country Lifestyle and Ross and Kay Perry, White Owl/Valentine Sourdough/Olive Hills Estate was awarded Best Indoor Site at Farm Gate.

Mrs Anderson said the field days co-operative prided itself on providing a showcase with a modern professional image, and the latest in agricultural machinery and technology.

She said the exhibitor awards encouraged site holders to strive for similar ideals during the field days.

The 2019 Judges Daryl Thomson and Bec Clancy covered the 14km of external shop front plus the indoor sites, assessing visual presentation, display, layout and innovation.

They inspected sites ranging in frontage from 3m to 180m.

Mrs Clancy said the 20 metre wide Rabobank site had great visual presence with expansive two-level seating, wine barrels and umbrellas.

“It is a great area for them to sit and chat with their clients,” she said.

“Grainline had a great, eye catching layout with branded bunting around the outside of the site, the augers are laid out well with timber edging around the base of the augers.

“They also have free carry bags and children’s safety vests to entice people to say hello.

“Their company colour of blue really stood out.”

“In Country Lifestyle we chose Jo & Co Interiors - Jo exhibits homewares including glassware, cushions and pictures – she has a lovely timber frame around the outside of the site with gum leaves and proteas, plus a big chandelier to catch the eye.”

Mrs Clancy said White Owl/Valentine’s/Olive Hills Estate, run by the Perry family, offered great coffee and good service.

“They have a nice display with rustic home baked breads in display cabinets, wine tasting and lovely pictures of their Olive Hills historic homestead,” she said.

“There were many exhibitors who put a lot of effort and money into their displays so it was a hard decision to come up with the winners.”

Mrs Clancy said trends in displays were moving to self-contained shipping containers which opened out and were easily transportable.

Grainline sales manager Steve Doven said staff made an extra effort on the site to coincide with the company’s 40thanniversary.

He said a strategy meeting resulted in a week of work going into site preparation.

“We got extra signage, we went for balloons and Aussie flags as we manufacture in Wagga,” Mr Doven said.

“An added attraction has been two little augers with a handle, and hoppers full of grain – it has never stopped with the kids playing with them.”

 

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Henty Machinery Field Days Co-operative Limited

Phone: (02) 6929 3305

Site Address: 22 Lubkes Road, Henty NSW 2658

Postal Address: PO Box 107, HENTY NSW 2658

General Email: admin@hmfd.com.au

Site Information: applications@hmfd.com.au

Accounts: accounts@hmfd.com.au

Media: media@hmfd.com.au

Henty is located midway between Albury and Wagga Wagga on the Olympic Way