The pleas for help from Australia's struggling network of farm machinery field days have been answered with $2.7 million in special COVID-19 funding from the Federal Government.
The emergency aid was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and the Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud.
The package allows each field day which was cancelled because of coronavirus to apply for $70,000.
It also gives the Association of Agricultural Field Days Australasia (AAFDA) $100,000 to hold a member conference in 2021 and provide training and assistance for members on recovery management planning.
AAFDA represents 21 field days organisations in Australia and NZ including Henty, AgQuip at Gunnedah, the Australian National Field Days at Orange, Farmfest at Toowoomba, Dowerin in WA, Yorke Peninsula in SA and Elmore in Victoria.
Tocal Field Days manager and secretary of AAFDA Wendy Franklin said the funding was a welcome boost for rural and regional Australia.
She thanked the ministers as well as her local federal member Dr David Gillespie for their assistance and support.
She said Tocal Field Days was scheduled to be held in early May but were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. The next field days is scheduled from April 30 to May 2, 2021.
"Field days play a vital role in educating the community about the importance of agriculture and make a valuable contribution to the social fabric and the economy of rural and regional communities," Ms Franklin said.
"We don't exactly know when we will be able to hold our next event but this funding will help ensure we can continue to return bigger and better than ever for our local communities," she said.
She said Australia's farm machinery field days generated millions of dollars which were ultimately put back into the community through grants and charity donations.
Mr McCormack said the funding was part of an overall $39 million commitment to help show societies and field days deal with cash-flow pressures caused by COVID-19 cancellations under the Government's $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.
Mr Littleproud said he would continue to urge his State and Territory counterparts to make a contribution to help agricultural shows and field days survive because of the positive impact they have on their economies.
Nationally, field days provide income to local contractors of more than $1.8 million and an economic value-add to the Australian economy of more than $100 million.
The story Ag machinery fields days thrown $2.7m COVID lifeline first appeared on Farm Online.