There is no difficulty in making farmers work smarter, says
the South Island Dairy Event (Side) organising committee
chairman Paul Marshall.
''The opportunity for farmers is to work smarter.
''That is what Side aims to do and that is really exciting,''
Mr Marshall said.
He and his 10-member committee have spent hundreds of hours
organising the 2014 Side dairy conference programme. The
conference is to be held at Stadium Southland, Invercargill,
from June 23 to 25.
The conference will be a celebration of dairying and includes
keynote speakers, business seminars and more than 30
workshops, looking at topics ranging from business
strategies, risk management, human resources, the
environment, animal husbandry, nutrition and new technology.
The motivational programme is linked to the theme of the
conference ''Riding the Wave'' to encourage building business
''All my committee members are extremely busy people -
sharemilkers, farmers, advisers - and they have been
fantastic generating ideas for the conference,'' Mr Marshall
He said the inclusion of some younger farmers as well as the
geographical spread of members meant the committee was more
sensitive to regional issues, such as the Waituna Lagoon.
''Having a couple of younger farmers just starting out in
their sharemilking career [on the committee] has given a real
impetus to a career pathway and leadership focus in the
The environment and dealing with the climate were also going
to be key themes at the conference.
''The environment is probably the single biggest risk to the
dairy growth trajectory and there is no earthly point in
sticking the industry's head in the sand and pretending it is
''We can't control the climate but we can make strategic
decisions to manage the risks and benefits.''
He was looking forward to hearing motivational speaker and
sportsman Rob Waddell, as well as consultant Jeremy Savage
and DairyNZ's Dr Rick Prodmore.
He said he was looking forward to hearing comedian Ben
Hurley, who would be MC at the formal dinner, and seeing the
gold sponsors' team pursuit around the velodrome.
''The teams of four have got to have at least one woman and
one farmer and no ring-ins.
''It should be a bit of a hoot and I think there will be some
clandestine practices happening.''
He said as of last week about 400 people had registered, but
they were hoping for about 600.
He urged farmers to attend, even though it was the
It was important for them to do so for their personal growth
and to get out and network with other farmers and expose
themselves to new and challenging ideas.