16 May, 2023
Largest Field Days in Northern Australia – bigger and better than ever before
NORTHERN Australia’s largest display of agricultural excellence is expected to break records in 2023.
Businesses from across Queensland and interstate have jumped at the chance to take part in the biennial Rotary FNQ Field Days, which will be held at the Mareeba Rodeo Grounds on 24-26 May.
The three-day event has grown exponentially since its conception in the mid-1980s, with more than 15,000 people attending in 2021 and a record number of exhibitors featured.
This year’s event promises to set the bar even higher, with a showcase of brand-new attractions and exhibits as well as the return of crowd-favourites such as the Brown and Hurley Tractor Pull and Garden Tractor Display, daily machinery demonstrations, events in the arena, cattle display, Emergency Services demonstrations, and much more.
Local businesses Tyrepower Mareeba, Mete Motor Group and NQ Agricultural Services have also come on board as the Strategic Partners of the 2023 Rotary FNQ Field Days.
Event chair and Mareeba Shire Councillor Kevin Davies said the three-day event was hosted by the Rotary Clubs of Atherton and Mareeba, with all monies raised donated to charities and community organisations.
He said the key theme for this year’s event was Celebration of Agriculture.
“This year the Field Days has grown even bigger, with over 500 sites and 450 exhibitors, ready to showcase and demonstrate new innovations and the latest products,” he said.
“It boasts the largest and most comprehensive display of agricultural equipment and associated products and services in the region.
“The Field Days also creates an opportunity to catch up with old friends, colleagues and distributors, this is not only a field day but a social gathering for many.”
The 2023 Field Days will be open from Wednesday, 24 May to Friday 26 May from 9am each day.
The following pages will provide you with an overview of what you can except to see at this year’s Field Days which kick off next Wednesday, at the Mareeba Rodeo Grounds.
A celebration of agriculture
You’d be hard pressed to find a better illustration of agriculture’s connection to the Atherton Tablelands than the vintage piece of farming equipment, a 1921 Bailor Multicultivator.
The piece is entrenched in history, having been built in America, imported to Ballarat, Victoria, and shifted to Tumoulin, where it was used by the Stancombe family on their cropping farm for many years before it found itself relegated to the shed.
With Arthur Stancombe’s approval, Mareeba collector Ray Blain restored the piece, with the help of Tony Little; the pair carrying out a major engine overhaul complete with new parts.
It’s fitting then, that the multicultivator will take pride of place at this year’s Rotary FNQ Field Days, honouring the event’s theme, Celebration of Agriculture.
Mr Blain said vintage pieces of equipment like the multi-cultivator provided a unique appreciation and realisation of how far farm machinery has come, and how much easier it is on the operator.
“The hard has been transformed into comfort and reliability,” Mr Blain said.
The multi-cultivator will be on display at the field days, 24-26 May.
Field Days committee chairman Kevin Davies said agriculture was the economic backbone of the region, and contributed millions of dollars to the regional communities it supports.
The event will give a nod to agriculture through the grand parade, highly popular Brown and Hurley Agriculture tractor pull and other attractions.
Engines ready to roar as crowds set to flock to popular tractor pull
TRACTORS big and small will put their engines to the ultimate test in one of the Rotary FNQ Field Days’ most popular events.
This year’s Brown and Hurley Agriculture Tractor Pull and Garden Tractor Display will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by a Friday morning demonstration.
The competition has grown to become one of the most watched attractions, starting with just handful of tractors in 2015.
Each of the machines that enter the competition must meet the guidelines of being two-wheel drive and at least 40 years old.
NQ Tractor Pulling Inc president, Mark Brown said more than 40 tractors from across Queensland had signed up to take part this year, with the furthest coming from Sarina.
“It draws a crowd,” he said.
“We’ve got (tractors) coming from Sarina, Mackay, the Burdekin, Innisfail, Mareeba, Atherton, Biboorha and Kairi.
The tractor pull involves either a ‘vintage’ or ‘classic tractor’ pulling a sled along a 120m track. Engine capacity categories for the Rotary FNQ Field Days range from 20 horsepower (HP) right up to 200HP and additional crawler classes.
Two sleds will be in action – one to pull 30HP to 100HP tractors, and a second to pull 100HP to 200HP – designed to put on an impressive show for spectators.
The competition will also feature the next generation of agricultural leaders, with a Garden Tractor Display for junior competitors as young as eight to get involved in.
Modified ride-on lawn mowers with the deck removed and garden tractors under 15HP and over 15HP, pulling a smaller sled will also line up to put their machines to the test.
Largest display of top quality cattle
TOP quality stock from across the North and afar will be on display at northern Australia’s largest agricultural Field Days next week.
As part of the Field Days, the cattle display showcases the best the region has to offer and this year a record number of studs have jumped on board.
Over 18 different studs will feature more than eight different breeds with varieties such as Brahmans, Droughtmasters, Ultra Blacks, Murray Greys, Shorthorns and more.
Retired Droughtmaster stud farmer and cattle display coordinator, Trevor Taylor has worked hard to bring the cattle display to a whole new level and is once again hoping it will be a great success for the studs and visitors alike.
“The cattle display at the three-day event has always been a drawcard and an important way to showcase the industry,” said Mr Taylor.
“There have been record cattle prices and there will only be good quality stock at the field fays... some really nice females as well as big bulls.
“We encourage everyone to come and check out the cattle and I hope the event will once again be a great success for all involved.
“The yards are located near the main arena, so please remember to go and have a look because it’s really worth while seeing.
“You will see, in one hour, as many studs and very good quality stud cattle, as it would take you a week to cover if you had to go to all of the studs spread across the region.”
Can you guess the weight of the bull?
This outstanding Santa Gertrudis bull may be worth $32,000 – but how much does he weigh?
Here’s your chance to raise much-needed money for The Royal Flying Doctors (RFDS) by guessing the weight of Rosevale Reunion R130, principal sire at the Tallangalook Shorthorn and Santa Gertrudis stud on the Atherton Tablelands.
Simply visit the Nutrien Ag Solutions sites (SI and S2) at the Field Days to see Reunion R130 in the flesh, make your gold coin donation to RFDS, put in your entry and then we’ll find out who’s the master at estimating this superb bull’s weight.
The winner will receive a Traeger Pro 575 Grill, donated by Nutrien Ag Solutions.
Valued at $1,599, the Pro 575 grill pushes the limits of what’s possible in grilling technology – and is perfect for cooking a great Tablelands steak!
Art therapy key to health and wellbeing for all at Field Days
A CREATIVE approach to tapping into ones physical and emotional wellbeing and mental health state will be offered for the first time at the Rotary FNQ Field Days.
InspirexArt business owner, Carolyn Mundt will be running Art Therapy sessions for people to get involved in across the three-day event.
The sessions will be open to anyone who attends the Rotary FNQ Field Days and will form part of this year’s Health and Wellbeing display.
Ms Mundt first became interested in art therapy several years ago and was approached by a local Rockhampton psychologist to work with some of their NDIS clients using art as therapy.
“Witnessing the improvement in client’s physical and emotional wellbeing and mental health state, convinced me to study to become a Transpersonal Art Therapist,” she said.
“Transpersonal Art Therapy is a holistic client-centred approach, and is a type of counselling that uses art as its primary language - a way to communicate emotions, experiences, and stories.
“It is especially helpful when people find it difficult to articulate their feelings and emotions into words.
“When we are faced with challenges, sometimes we feel lost, sad, anxious, confused, overwhelmed, and need a little help to navigate a path through these challenges. So, this is where Transpersonal Art Therapy comes into play.
“It builds on our own natural creativity and imagination for insight and healing. It is for all ages, for all abilities and for any and everyone.”
The Health and Wellbeing display at the Rotary FNQ Field Days was launched in 2017 and continues to gain momentum each year.
It began as an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health disorders, but has now grown to encompass the inclusion of numerous services that support vulnerable people in our region.
Rotary FNQ Field Days site-co-ordinator Nina Grant said an impressive line-up of community groups and organisations had put their hand up to share their services and knowledge as part of the Health and Wellbeing display this year.
She said there would be a focus on a range of different topics and would shine a light on the importance of taking care of your mind, body and soul.
“The Art Therapy sessions are something we are really excited to have part of the display this year and we encourage everyone to get involved," Ms Grant said.
“We will also be creating a large community mural where people will be able to stop by and write a positive message.”