First female Director appointed for 66 years at ANFD – will she run amok

Kerry Wickson OAM has joined the board of the Australian National Field Days (ANFD), the oldest annual agricultural exhibition in the country and host to more than 600 exhibitors from all over Australia and internationally to display their products and services during the three-day event from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 October 2017

Probably not, because the first-ever female director for The Australian National Field Days (ANFD) is none other than Kerry Wickson OAM. And Kerry’s timing is perfect with the big event running from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 October 2017.

The ANFD board is proud to welcome Kerry as she has a strong history and knowledge in the agriculture industry and is passionate about fighting to get a higher profile for agriculture.

“ I am very happy to take on the role. It is going to be a challenge and also an opportunity to give something back to the community and agriculture in particular, and I look forward to working with this highly experienced team” Kerry said.

Kerry has a lot of new ideas for the Australian National Field Days (ANFD) involving more interaction with agricultural exhibits and showcasing agricultural innovation and research.

“I can remember the field days going back many years, there were a lot more demonstrations and I would like to drive that and have the exhibitors more interactive with the public”.

Kerry first started with the ANFD back in 2014 with her involvement with the Education Exhibit. She was then asked to join the committee, later the Co-op, until recently being appointed as one of the Directors this year. Her role as a director and also a member of the committee is to oversee the direction of the ANFD and to manage the running of events along with staff.

Kerry is very experienced in taking on this role and has been an advocate for agriculture throughout her life, making people aware of agriculture and its importance to our country.

Kerry’s love of animals led to an interest in agriculture that she studied in high school. She then went to Hawkesbury Agriculture College from 1972-1974. She worked as a Jillaroo for 12 months at Rowena, before becoming the first female on the valuation staff with the Rural Bank.

“In the 70’s it was difficult for a female to be employed in the field of agriculture, and hence the pathway into teaching,” said Kerry.

Kerry than studied a Diploma of Education at Wagga Wagga CAE, to then go on to teach for many years. She taught at Canobolas Rural Technology High School from 1978 to 2011, when she retired.

“I stayed for so long because I established an Angora goat stud in 1981 and a dairy goat stud a few years later.  These studs were the highest accredited in Australia – MN3 and CAE accredited. Students were very aware of biosecurity, animal genetics, and AI and involved in a livestock program employing technology and industry standards.   I had much contact with industry and that is why I am happy to have that contact again with agricultural industries in retirement. “

Kerry has made many achievements throughout her life including being awarded OAM in 2015, for her” service to Agriculture education and to equestrian sports.”

In 2005 Kerry setup a livestock breeding, educational and aid project at Maliana Ag College in Timor-Leste. She has been an active Ag show team leader for many years breeding and showing a variety of livestock.
Kerry’s extensive experience in the agriculture field is an asset to her role as a Director of the Australian National Field Days.

There is a lot to be excited about this year’s event including the feature exhibit – the Australian Stock Horse Society.

“As a horse person I am very excited about the Australian Stock Horse being the feature exhibit. The Education Section will also feature an open forum where visitors are able to interact with the guest speakers on a variety of horse related topics”

Kerry says, “ The Australian National Field Days is all about presenting the latest innovation advanced technology and research in agriculture and making it relevant to the farmers. Farming is a business, and by employing the latest techniques results are achieved”.

Don’t miss one of the final big events of the year, the ANFD runs from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 October 2017 at 563 Borenore Road Borenore NSW, just 15km west of Orange. Tel: 02 6362 1566 or email: info@anfd.com.au

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