Wednesday, 14 February 2024 13:55

Reconnection and innovation key at East Coast Farming Expo

Written by  Staff Reporters
The East Coast Farming Expo is a chance to fill one’s cup with a focus on reconnection, education and a chance to speak to some of the nation’s best. The East Coast Farming Expo is a chance to fill one’s cup with a focus on reconnection, education and a chance to speak to some of the nation’s best.

Agri-innovators, top-flight speakers and two full days of networking are the promise of the 2024 East Coast Farming Expo.

The two-day event (February 21-22) is hosted at the Wairoa Racecourse and aimed at East Coast sheep and beef farmers. It's touted as a chance to fill one's cup with a focus on reconnection, education and a chance to speak to some of the nation’s best.

The Expo is known for its quality of speakers and 2024 is no different. Included in the line-up is television personality and mental wellbeing exponent Matt Chisholm, Craigs Investment Partners investment adviser Fleur Gardiner, Lincoln University adjunct professor Dr Jaqueline Rowarth and John Roche, the chief science advisor at Ministry for Primary Industries.

All are excited to be back in the rural sector sharing their knowledge, and reconnecting with people.

Hamish McKay is the keynote speaker at the Property Brokers Evening Muster (Wednesday, 21 February) and he’s chuffed to be back in familiar territory. He’s happy to help bridge the rural-urban divide by asking those thought-provoking questions that both inform and educate urban listeners.

The Thursday seminar programme is chock full of excellent info with presentations from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Land for Life Project director Michael Bassett-Foss on supporting farmers’ vision for their land, Palliser Ridge’s Kurt Portas on equity partnership and farm diversification opportunities. Beef+Lamb NZ will lead a discussion on worm challenges, farm management consultant Hilton Collier (Ngāti Porou), Keith Woodford on the need for pastoral agriculture, and a discussion around team culture with the crew from Hereheretau Station.

Doug the Digger from Northland will be at the Expo so any would-be excavator drivers can try their hand. In the wellbeing space, Craig ‘Wiggy’ Wiggins has his team offering rural wellness check-ups from the Carr Family Foundation van and he will be there to chat to one and all.

The FMG Spot Check Roadie is cruising in as well with partners Melanoma New Zealand for skin checks and handing out life-saving information.

Event organiser Sue Wilson says post Cyclone Gabrielle, farmers are keen to get together and reconnect.

“Last year was a tough one for farmers,” she says. “It is a chance for them to get off farm, meet agri-innovators, see what opportunities are out there to help with their businesses, and catch up with other farmers from across the region.”

The Expo is deliberately held mid-week so farmers can spend a day off farm working on their businesses without losing the weekend.

This year there are two new initiatives – the Rural News Cadet Challenge and the Beef+Lamb NZ Station Challenge which while include plenty of fun, highlight the importance of team work.

“Many of the younger shepherds and shepherdesses experience so far has been more hands-on farm work, and the Expo is a chance to introduce them to so many other aspects of farming. All farmers should think of it as a team building day working on your business.”

There will also be working dog demos from highly regarded trainer and triallist Guy Peacock.

The trade is a huge component of the Expo and includes agricultural drone spraying, the latest technology from Gallagher, examples of limitless rotational grazing for the dairy and beef industries, advice on how to unlock precision pasture management, and Halter guidance on a drive to more profitable farms.

“Farmers will hear the facts that are backed by the science,” says Wilson. “The past couple of years of extreme weather have been very challenging for us all, and this is an opportunity to talk to people who can help them build back to smarter. It is all about innovation. The support from trade this year has been fantastic and has attracted such a diverse range of agri-business. They see the value of face-to-face connections.”

Event Details

What: East Coast Farming Expo

When: February 21-22, 2024

Where: Wairoa Racecourse

More info: http://www.eastcoastexpo.co.nz/

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