FARMERS and everyone working in the agricultural industry are forward thinkers.
They are always looking at different ways of doing things and how to improve efficiencies.
And because they are dealing with agriculture, by its very nature, that can be challenging and a reason why they attend agricultural field days.
In August and September in Western Australia everyone usually looks forward to the field days circuit that now kicks off at Mingenew before heading to Dowerin two weeks later, before wrapping up at Newdegate.
It is traditionally a time for machinery manufacturers and inventors to showcase their latest equipment and concepts that they believe will achieve those efficiencies we have already spoken about.
But the field days are much more than that.
They are all about local communities coming together in a way that only a country town can.
They are a must-attend event on the social calendar for not only rural people, but those living in the metropolitan area who like to maintain their country connection.
And they are an avenue for other businesses that are not directly related to agriculture to highlight their goods and services.
Even for school children in these communities it is a day out.
This year however, like everything else in the world, plans have changed or have been abandoned courtesy of COVID-19.
Early on when WA authorities were assessing how to deal with the global pandemic, organisers of these iconic events made the heart-breaking decisions to not open their show gates this year.
These decisions were not made lightly, but given how much work is required to host an agricultural field day, the respective committee members had to make their tough calls early.
Now, as you will read on the following page, all three committees are using the opportunity to put more planning into their events when they return in 2021.
While the field days are not going ahead, agriculture here in WA is ploughing ahead.
Machinery dealers still have new products they want to talk about and other ag service providers are still keen to showcase what they do best as well.
And that is the reason for the Farm Weekly Virtual Agricultural Field Day.
We have produced this magazine where people who would normally attend the field days can still highlight their businesses and where possible, have included links to their websites, videos of the latest products and social media channels.
We know the best way to experience something is to do it in person, but given the uncertainty and restrictions around COVID-19, this is the next best thing.