For the first time in its 23-year history, the two-day South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) is heading to Ashburton.
Multisport athletes Richard and Elina Ussher will join a line-up of experts from many fields at the event.
The theme for this year’s SIDE is ‘It starts with us’, referring to four practical things farmers can do to improve their farm business: personal wellness, innovation and technology, people and business growth, and media, community and environmental engagement.
The Usshers say learning to co-operate, as a couple and in a larger team, is a key to their success. They will speak about personal wellness.
Then there’s Sir Graham Henry on building an environment of high performing teams.
Media, community and environmental engagement are now much more important for dairy farmers, so NZME managing editor Shayne Currie will open a window on his world, essential in this era of social media and ‘citizen journalism’.
SIDE committee member and organiser Helen Shrewsbury says the event is as relevant and fresh today as it was 20 years ago when it began.
“With 10,000 registrations since it started in 1999, SIDE goes from strength to strength, while following the original purpose and aims.
“The event is organised by farmers and gives them opportunity to talk to other farmers and learn from their experiences and successes; the topics and workshops are current, relevant and give real value.
“I like how SIDE is looking at other industries to get insights from their experiences on teamwork, innovation and staff retention.”
Committee member Andrew Calder says farmers retain a controlling say in how SIDE evolved and is presented. “That remains a strong message today.”
Speaking of this year’s programme Andrew says, “I like the diversity of speakers. Science, proven innovations, and best practise being demonstrated is good to see. This is a terrific forum for our industry’s research and development.”