Space available at dairy conference

South Island Dairy Event (Side) event committee chairman Simon Topham, of Hedgehope. Photo: Side
South Island Dairy Event (Side) event committee chairman Simon Topham, of Hedgehope. Photo: Side
There is less than two weeks to go before one of the biggest dairy conferences in the country launches in Invercargill and spaces are still available.

The South Island Dairy Event (Side) will be held at the ITL Stadium, Invercargill, on June 25 and 26 and runs with the theme ''Creating Our Tomorrow''.

It also celebrates its 21st birthday.

Organising committee chairman Simon Topham said they had received a ''pretty positive'' response to the event's programme and to its theme.

''We wanted to remind farmers to reflect on what they've achieved over the past decade and be proud of how far we've come,'' he said.

''There are challenges facing the sector and at times it can be hard for some farmers to see a future in dairy but the future is bright.

''There is an opportunity for us to shape the future of dairy and continue to drive change rather than wait for regulations to force us to evolve.''

In addition to the 19 workshops and keynote speakers, they were running BrightSide, a new initiative for dairy workers to learn about career progression.

''Some people are just signing up for BrightSide and we are pretty confident we will have a full house for that.

''It is an afternoon taster session for new entrants to the sector to show them what Side is all about, without having to commit to two days.''

He said he was looking forward to hearing keynote speaker and business leader Sue Lindsay.

Other keynote speakers include retired Paralympian Liam Malone, All Black manager Gilbert Enoka and dairy farmer Wayne Langford, from Golden Bay, who is also known at the Yolo farmer (You Only Live Once), who posts on social media about his trip from depression and his everyday victories.

Mr Topham said one of the more unusual workshops would be the virtual tour of the Southern Dairy Hub and an update of the research taking place there.

''It is a 40-minute tour of the farm using drone footage,'' Mr Topham said.

He was also looking forward to hearing presentations from four Nuffield scholars.

Other workshops would look at reducing greenhouse gases, inspiring the team, improving herd fertility, breeding healthier and more productive cows, wintering and health and safety.

There is also a dinner with the Jordan Luck Band playing.

There is still time to register for Side through the website side.org.nz.

It was important to do it soon, Mr Topham said.

''If you are not learning or not growing, it can be quick progression to not being engaged.''

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