It is all go for next week’s East Coast Farming Expo, albeit with plenty of attention on ensuring everyone is kept safe.
The 2021 Expo runs February 24-25, 2021 at the Wairoa A&P Showgrounds and will give farmers a chance to meet with industry leaders.
“This is for all sheep and beef farming businesses,” says event manager Sue Wilson, “whether you be on extensive hill country or intensive flat operations – it is all about farming smarter.”
Serial technology entrepreneur Melissa Clark-Reynolds is the first person announced in an exciting line-up of keynote speakers for the seminars, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.
Will to Live founder Elle Perriam is confirmed for the 2021 Rural Women New Zealand agri-women’s luncheon, which is expected to have a big turnout.
Perriam founded Will to Live, a non-profit mental health organisation focused on helping young rural people, after her 21-year-old farmer partner lost his life to suicide in 2017.
Also locked in for 2021 is Dan Lynch from Ovis Management who is back talking to farmers about potential sheep measles biosecurity factors.
The outdoor demonstrations include dog trialist Lloyd Smith, from Pup Pen to Paddock, who is celebrated for his training system used by many shepherds and farmers.
With around 40 exhibitors expected, Wilson says the range covered is impressive.
“The Showgrounds is the perfect venue for the Expo, sitting bang in the centre of our target audience area which covers from Central Hawke’s Bay all the way up the East Cape. It is a great event, designed for farmers without the worry of kids and townies and completely focused on helping farmers see what is out there to help their farming operations.”
Rural News Group general manager Adam Fricker says events like the Expo are critical to the future of the nation.
"New Zealand farming needs to keep pursuing productivity and efficiency gains, as it has always done, and events like the Expo are critical to this,” said Fricker.
“Rural News Group has been a proud supporter of the Expo since year one for this reason."
The Expo was important too because it continued to promote tech and innovation to the grass roots beef and sheep farmers, with the seminars are “very well regarded” due to the high calibre of speakers attracted each year.
For Beef + Lamb lead extension manager Mark Harris, the opportunity to catch up with people who can help influence and get good outcomes for your business, is one not to miss.
“This is by farmers for farmers,” he says. “We enjoy supporting good stuff like this in our region.”
Dean Evans, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, manager catchments delivery, says one of the key things for them as sponsors is the connection between people.
“It is a chance for us to talk to locals, provide advice and answer questions. Getting everyone in one place for that one-on-one interaction where we can talk and share information is important.”
McRae Trust chair Peter Manson says the ethos of the Expo is at the heart of all they do.
“We are delighted to support this event,” says Manson.
“Our trustees feel strongly about supporting the effort that goes into the Expo and making it available to as many farmers as possible – these are opportunities farmers just shouldn’t miss.”