Our say: bush living is a badge we wear with pride

THERE’S been no greater time than now that proves our region as an agricultural powerhouse. 

Over the weekend, two of the New England’s iconic country towns, Manilla and Bendemeer, played host to the annual show and the Grey Fergie Tractor Muster respectively.

While both events were wildly different, they were both a nod the agriculturally-rich nature of our region. 

The 2018 Manilla Show was the strongest in decades, according to organisers. 

From sheep, horse and cattle displays, to pavillion competitions and a campdraft and rodeo, the show has gone from strength to strength over the years. 

Unlike other country towns whose shows have gone on hiatus due to lack of volunteers, Manilla is bucking all the trends. 

It’s a move organisers put down to community support and resurrecting traditional country show events that we’ve all come to love, like the campdraft. 

A country show is where the whole district can come together, socialise, learn about other fields of production and showcase their animals. 

With a record crowd turning out to the show, it’s a safe bet that it will continue to be around for many more decades to come, given all the varied agriculture we have to showcase across the region.

Meanwhile, some 80 kilometres, the village of Bendemeer came alive with the roar of historical tractors for the sixth Grey Fergie Tractor Muster.

The Grey Fergie was manufactured between 1946 and 1959, and the muster seeks to celebrate the important role it has played in agricultural history.

To still celebrate a machine that helped shape the industry so many years ago is proof of just how important agriculture is to us.

Our region is characterised by our abundant agriculture. 

We are the food bowl of Australia, after all. 

Liverpool Plains Shire Council mayor Andrew Hope told a delegation in China last week that our region produces about 40 per cent more than the national average of food per hectare, and is the highest contributor to agriculture in NSW.

It’s a title that we clearly with pride – and rightfully so.

It’s so warming to see our region – even all the small, lesser-known outlying villages – come together to celebrate agriculture. 

It’s what we know, and what we do best.