Primex celebrates 40th birthday

Primex celebrates 40th birthday

The 40th Norco Primex Field Day at Casino this year is a major milestone for the Wright family, agribusiness and communities across north-eastern New South Wales and south-east Queensland.

The three-day milestone event will be held at the Richmond Events Centre from May 16-18, and will be broader, more inclusive and more extensive than ever, says Primex Director Bruce Wright.

“It’s the culmination of four decades in the business of showcasing agricultural machinery and ideas to this corner of the country,” Bruce says.

“This year will be the biggest ever and, even if someone’s been every year for the past two decades, there’ll be something fresh for everyone. Everything from exhibits to entertainment, has been enhanced.”

Bruce sees Norco Primex Field Day as the ‘Yellow Pages of the Paddock’ – bringing leading brands together at the same time and place. This year, it encompasses all manner of exhibits, including traditional farm machinery and farming innovations, while supporting a number of associated community interests from health-care authorities to affordable housing experts, from breweries to beef producers.

“All elements in a farmer’s life are reflected,” Bruce said. “The core of the field day is obviously the machinery and equipment, but it’s also about how farmers live, the quality of life they have. From that comes innovation, efficiency, and also connection with the wider community.”

This year’s exhibitors include leading Australian tractor, truck, earthmoving and 4WD brands, sharing the stage with international exhibitors attending for the first time, with a combined estimated $67 million in sales generated in 2023.

Attendees will enjoy major new features such as the national Forestry and Timber event, supported by a range of key industry stakeholders including Timber NSW, NE NSW Forestry Hub, Timber Qld, Australian Forest Contractors Association and NSW DPI (Forestry).

Bruce Wright believes this event hub will offer the most comprehensive forestry and timber showcase in 2024, nationwide. “Primex is ideally situated on the east coast, making it an accessible resource for trade, industry and networking events, plantation visits and working demonstrations to  both a national and international, audience,” he said.

North-eastern NSW’s hardwood industry contributes $700 million annually to GDP and employs 5700 people. Timber NSW chairman Andrew Hurford says that the Primex Forestry event will cover a number of elements, from harvesting machinery to information for landholders about growing or managing forests.

“I think we’ve really got, for the first time, a diversity of suppliers and information for all aspects of the industry, from growing and managing forestry to harvesting and processing the timber. It’s the largest forest industry trade exhibition in Australia this year that I’m aware of,” Andrew says.

The Northern Rivers based field day was originally conceived by Bruce’s father, John Wright, as one of a series of 1980s events to help fill down times for an equipment hire company based in the region and on the Gold Coast. With help from Casino stock and station agent Thomas George and local authorities, John took over 32 hectares of horse paddock on the eastern edge of town. In 1985, he held the inaugural Eastern Coast Rural Trade Expo with 40exhibitors and 3000 visitors.

In 1988 John sold the hire company and the site, still owned by the Wright family, was further improved with earthworks and infrastructure. Today, it accommodates more than 400 exhibitors, 800 different companies and more than 30,000 visitors across three days.

Almost half the visitors to Norco Primex are primary producers, according to Bruce. The Northern Rivers is a diverse agricultural region with industries from beef and dairy cattle to timber to niche crops such as berries.

Bruce also sees value for metropolitan visitors from areas such as Brisbane and the Gold Coast, who may be looking to connect with, and better understand, agriculture and rural lifestyles. “Primex is far more than a rural ag show,” Bruce adds.

The milestone 2024 event includes 10 specific hubs such as the popular livestock feature, new Agtech Alley, and an education, training and careers feature with over a dozen providers. Attendees will also enjoy the highly anticipated forestry exhibition, a health and well-being hub, affordable housing and a Nourish Food and Drink program which aims to connect farmers and foodies through produce, food and live music.

This year, the field day will also feature an entertainment program to suit families of all ages, with a range of music and live events plus a wide selection of food outlets.

“Primex has always been a hub for innovation, industry and community collaboration,” Bruce said. “As the only family-owned agricultural field day in Australia, we’re proud of more than 40 years servicing the needs of our farming and rural communities throughout one of the most diverse primary industry and food production sectors in the world.”

If you enjoyed this piece on Primex, you may like to read about Henty Field Days celebrating its 60th birthday!

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