Urana farmer takes out Henty Machine of the Year award

Charlie Webb didn’t know what to expect when he entered his sheep handling system design into the Henty Machine of the Year award.

The Urana-based farmer designed the yards to make sheep work easier for himself and family. In the first month he sold five of the systems.

The yards are made in Lockhart and took out the award because of the increased efficiency it offers users.

Mr Webb was “thrilled” to take out the award at the this year’s field days with his design, Back Up Charlie.

The design has been used on his own farm for years but perfected for production over the last two years.

The hock bars prevent sheep for backing up in the sheep handling system which makes sheep work quicker and creates less stress for the livestock.

“The sheep are not stressed, pushed of forced into the yards, they run a lot better,” he said.

Judge Warren Scheetz said the sheep handling system kept sheep close together and stopped them from turning around.

“It is quicker and increases efficiency,” Mr Scheetz, a Culcairn based farmer said.

“Sheep are going well as far as profitability is concerned and these yards are portable so you can take them around the farm.”

Henty Machinery Field Days (HMFD) chairman Ross Edwards said this year’s field days features a lot of innovation around livestock handling and production.

Bring the field days together takes a dedicated team who started working almost a month before the field days started.

Big tents and marques were put up weeks in advance and some exhibitors arrived on site more than two weeks before hand.

“It’s been difficult conditions and our fellas have done a great job in setting up,” Mr Edwards said.

Between 10 and 20 millimetres are forecast for the second day of the field days, Wednesday September 21.

Organiser believe this is what has driven the strong crowds on the first day.

“All reports have indicated we will have a big crowd on Tuesday,” Mr Edwards said.

One focus of the field days is to keep young people interested in careers in agriculture.

“Farms are getting bigger and we are losing a lot of the youth,” Mr Edwards said.

The HMFD team has 40 people under 20-years-old but Mr Edwards hopes to see more young people get involved around the country.

“We are losing a lot of the youth, it needs to be addressed, it’s important, not only in this region but around Australia,” Mr Edwards said.

Agricultural-based education providers are on hand during the field days to encourage youth to take up a career in ag.

“We will keep supporting (youth in ag) into the future,” Mr Edwards said.

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