Mates gather and gab

THE OPPORTUNITY for farmers to come together for nothing more than a chat over some food and a fire has become a staple in the calendar for South-East farmers over the last few years.

Old Mates Day is being held once again this Saturday. The event was started in 2017 by Wattle Hill farmer Terry White when saleyards in the region began to slowly close taking away the social gatherings that had become for so important to many farmers.

“We used to have the sales at Campania and Kunya, Bridgewater and Sorell,” Mr White said. “Farmers from all over the East Coast or from the Derwent Valley or Huon would go every week and even if they didn’t have stock to sell it was a social day for them.

“When the saleyards moved all of that was lost.” What had started as a gathering in his shed a few years ago has taken on a bigger role in providing a chance for isolated farmers to came out and “just chat”.

“People can come in with a plate and a drink and just spend their time catching up with their neighbours or people they haven’t seen in years.”