While there was certainly no record sales from this year’s AgQuip, the country’s largest field days may have served an even greater purpose in its 46th year.
Even before the gates opened Fairfax Events Manager Kate Nugent didn’t know what sized crowd to expect, although did say there was a “philosophical understanding” among the 3000 exhibitors and stakeholders that this year wasn’t about sales, it was just about being there.
“I think what is the most pleasing thing about this event is that it has met the needs of our farmers, farming families and professional farmers who attend every year,” she said.
“I think many of the exhibitors would have reassessed their goals in terms of sales this year – there was still plenty of sales conducted though, and plenty of leads for exhibitors to follow.”
Peel Valley Machinery has had a presence at AgQuip since the inaugural year, and now have the largest site at the field days year in year out.
Director of Sales and Marketing Steve Johns has been every year for 36 years. For him this year wasn’t about sales but about support, and reassurance.
“It is about showing the farmers that we are still here, and we will be here for them when things turn around,” he said.
“It is free to get in and a great opportunity for them to get off their properties and do and see something different.
“A lot of our customers come to us because we always have something new and different to look at.”
This year Peel Valley Machinery were using opportunity to showcase the 100th birthday of the John Deere tractor, a staple of agriculture across the globe.
The site had everything from a replica original horse drawn plow, which John Deere started his business with in 1837, to the new top of the range model, as well as 10 antique tractors in between.
Mr John said that just like AgQuip the John Deere brand has remained strong through all those years because people know what it stands for.
“It has never been bought or sold since 1837, although it is a public company now where Bill Gates is the major shareholder, and he doesn’t invest in anything that he isn’t confident about,” he said.
“There is still a really big future in agriculture.
“There has still been a lot of people coming through the gate here, which is a good sign that people are confident it will turn around.”
That seemed to be the general feeling coming out of the field days all round.
While the longest ever attendees said it is still the most valuable and only promotional opportunity they take each year, the newest vendor The Welder’s Dog brewery agreed.
Tamworth operator Ben Coombes said nothing beats the word of mouth advertising that can be found at AgQuip.
“It is has been great for us to get the word out that we brew our own beer now, and to show people from all over the country that we can make good beer in the bush,” he said.
“We have had a great reaction and will be back.”
For the AgQuip chief Ms Nugent this years event has been like no other, and gave a great insight into just how much the agricultural community is rallying around each other.
“There is something for everyone at AgQuip and this year was no different – It truly is a great event.