Five years after the completion of the Organic Focus Vineyards project, Rebecca Reider reports back on soil monitoring and success stories.
South Otago dairy farmer and chair of the SIDE 2012 organising committee Brangka Munan attributes the great response from dairy farmers to the line-up of top speakers for the three-day event.
"The theme this year is 'People, Perception, Pride" and it's a great opportunity to for us to discuss these key issues and opportunities facing dairying now and in the future.
"The SIDE programme covers a wide range of topics from on-farm issues, business skills, health and wellbeing, and personal development as well as wider dairy and business issues.
Brangka says due to the high level of interest, some of the workshops are already fully subscribed. "There are a limited number of places at some of the workshops due to venue capacity, so people leaving it late to register may not get to attend their first choice of topic."
In addition to the popular SIDE workshops, a parallel session "Business SIDE" is aimed at delegates who are looking beyond day-to-day farming matters.
• Award-winning journalist Genevieve Westcott will give delegates an insight into the world of news media and tips on working with media to get farmer stories heard.
• Nutritionist Lea Stenning will discuss the nutritional value of milk, recent studies on milk drinkers and the challenges of food marketing.
• Business SIDE delegates will also hear from Southland organic dairy farmer and dairy factory founder Robin Greer.
• Rabobank's Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory analyst Michael Harvey will bring delegates up to date with latest news from the turbulent ﬁnancial world and how this affects our dairy industry.
• The last speaker of Business SIDE is Mike Fleming of Heritage Farms who will present on success and succession – setting up your family farm business to stand the test of time.
SIDE 2012 will be held at the University of Otago in Dunedin on 25 – 27 June 2012. To download a copy of the full programme and to register online go to www.side.org.nz.