Advances in agriculture and a rich history on show at DPI Open Day

Whether it was former residents, fellow farmers or just those curious about what goes on at the property, plenty of people made their way to NSW DPI Cowra Agricultural Research and Advisory Station Open Day on Saturday.

Despite the wild and windy weather, attendees were treated to farm walks, a look at the history and grounds and heard from researchers on the forefront of agricultural research not only in Australia, but on an international stage.

Talks were given by Professor David Hopkins and his meat team, including international students, Dr Gordon Refshauge on ewe reproduction and future challenges and a look into perennial plants with researcher Richard Hayes.

While those interested could see the latest in agricultural and food production technology, a number of people on the day took the opportunity to see their old stomping ground.

Phyllis Bryant and Raymond Savage both grew up on the station during the 1950s.

Mr Savage's father was the foreman on the station, while Mrs Byrant's family also lived on the site.

The pair said it was great to come back and see the station.

"There's still a lot of sheds we used to play as kids, the old college used to be there, it's now gone," Mr Savage said.

"You were always told not to go upstairs there but we did...

"My father's office still looked the same, except his table used to face across the other way.

"It's interesting, it's good coming back here today and looking at it all."

Mrs Bryant said living on the station was similar to a farming lifestyle, with plenty of chance for mischief and exploration.

"We used to pack a picnic lunch and go up to the rocks there. During the working time, you had a boundary because they didn't want to be looking out for kids," she said.

"It was a big part of our lives."

Mr Savage said he remembers playing in the Prisoner of War Camp and enjoying tennis and bonfires.

"The Prisoner of War Camp used to have the walls on it still so we used to play there," he said.

"Every Friday night they would play tennis down here and all the workers would bring their families out.

"They'd burn the rubbish tip off once a year and we'd have fireworks on bonfire night. We've got a lot of good memories as a kid."

Both agree that the Agricultural Research and Advisory Station plays a major part in agricultural research on an international level.

"I think this is part of Australian history, it's not just Cowra," Mrs Bryant said.

"Just having it open to wander around and have a look and what's here and what's not here, it's amazing... that's a big feather."