A MINING exhibit at a farming field days is new territory for Orange but it reflects the reality of the primary sector in the tablelands and central west.
This year Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations is the featured exhibitor at the Australian National Field Days (ANFD) but it is not the only thought provoking aspect of the annual Borenore event.
The field days’ new chairman, orchardist Robert Armstrong, has flagged challenging times ahead for primary producers. There is the problem of the aging of our farmers, with no certainty of the young generation coming through to take over, the strong Aussie dollar and international competition.
Not all of these challenges will resonate for every visitor but it would be a rare farmer indeed who faces no uncertainty in an industry at the mercy of the greatest variable of all - the weather.
Mr Armstrong’s message has been that the ANFD can best serve the industry by providing the largest possible number of exhibitors, particularly those showcasing innovations.
For producers on all scales the ANFD is an opportunity to see just what the industry has to offer in the way of innovation and expertise. There will be more than 500 exhibitors representing some 900 companies so there will certainly be plenty to see and to learn.
The feature exhibitor Cadia Valley Operations promises an entertaining an educational glimpse inside the workings of what will become Australia’s largest gold mine.
Scale models of the underground mine, a mock tunnel entrance and a film on Cadia’s operation are all part of a display which seeks to demystify the gold mine for those who have not taken the above ground tour at its annual open day.
Its use and management of water and revegetation efforts should also be part of the picture it presents for the farming community and town dwellers who know just how much this region still relies on agriculture.