DESPITE a hard year for rice growers across the region, an industry field day has injected some positivity into the industry.
The annual Rice Industry Field Day was held recently in Jerilderie, with the target of having 250 participants reached and feedback positive on the day.
Among those taking part were students from Marcus Oldham College as part of an irrigation tour they were on.
Many had not seen rice before let alone knew how it grows, so it was an opportunity to see why the industry is so vital.
Mental health advocate John Harper from Mate helping Mate had a simple message of looking out for each other, being positive and the need for social interaction in tough times
The social aspects of the event were also a highlight, with industry, growers and other stakeholders coming together for a day off-farm to enjoy time together in a relaxed setting.
While there were only two speakers for the field presentations, there was a lot of interest in the research posters at the Old Coree homestead.
Rice extension co-ordinator Troy Mauger said the event was a highlight on the rice industry calendar.
"Given the current growing conditions, the event (was) also a timely reminder of the importance of socialisation, networks and community," he said.
“We know we have a challenging year ahead, but the field day (was) the ideal opportunity for growers and industry supporters to connect, better understand growing conditions, market requirements and what’s possible on-farm.
"Challenging years can bring out the best in growers."
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