At the most recent meeting of the BCG Board, it was decided that for the first time in 28-years, BCG will not hold the BCG Main Field Day.
The annual event, which can attract 800+ growers is a BCG flag-ship event and a key date in the calendar for Wimmera Mallee farmers.
BCG Chairman John Ferrier said, “Foremost in our decision is the health and safety of the BCG Staff, as well as the risk to the wider community should the BCG Main Field Day go ahead. After lengthy discussion, the Board decided unanimously that it was necessary to act on current information and trends and to make the call early allowing BCG time to investigate alternative options for effective extension and communication to our members.”
“It wasn’t an easy decision, and we’re disappointed that we are unable to run this highly successful event,” said Mr Ferrier. “I look forward to it every year. The BCG Main Field Day is a great opportunity for growers to interact socially and to share information about their farming systems and solutions to common issues.”
BCG will redirect resources to ensure that there are alternative methods for extending and communicating the research undertaken by BCG to ensure that members, partners and the wider Australian broadacre farming community have the best possible information available to improve their operations.
“We have recently seen the effectiveness of online forums as a method of extension, and we will look to supplement digital delivery with small scale events when the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services deems it safe to do so, which allow our members, partners and local growers the opportunity to engage with the BCG trial sites” Mr Ferrier noted, “I’m looking forward to exploring new ways to extend and communicate our research.”
As well as the health risks associated with a large-scale event, the restrictions on movement in Victoria has also been a factor in the decision to cancel this year’s Main Field Day.
“The BCG Main Field Day is a high-attendance, high-impact event for farmers in the Wimmera Mallee. The inclusion of interstate contributors who bring new ideas and practices to our region, the presence of research partners from metropolitan areas and the opportunity for physical site-engagement are integral in providing impactful extension and social interaction between growers, industry representatives and researchers” said Tom Draffen – Senior Manager, Extension and Communication.
“We hope that our members, and all Australian growers will continue to work with BCG to explore and embrace new avenues of communication to guarantee the betterment of farming systems across Australia” Tom said “That’s what BCG is here to do.”
Other events prior to the BCG Main Field Day will also be modified to ensure that BCG is able to provide value to all growers and that the resources allocated to the extension and communication of BCG’s research has the greatest impact possible and will be delivered in a digital format. Notices for events will continue to be provided through our regular media channels and on the events page of the BCG website.