Bumper crowds flock to field days

Huge crowds flocked to the South Island Agricultural Field Days last week. PHOTO: SOUTH ISLAND...
Huge crowds flocked to the South Island Agricultural Field Days last week. PHOTO: SOUTH ISLAND AGRICULTURAL FIELD DAYS
Alpine Buildings NZ won the prize for the best site. PHOTO: SOUTH ISLAND AGRICULTURAL FIELD DAYS
Alpine Buildings NZ won the prize for the best site. PHOTO: SOUTH ISLAND AGRICULTURAL FIELD DAYS
Donna Smith, of Christchurch, points to her occupation. Rural Women New Zealand put up the wall...
Donna Smith, of Christchurch, points to her occupation. Rural Women New Zealand put up the wall chart to demonstrate the variety of occupations rural women are engaged in. PHOTOS: DAVID HILL
Will Fisher (left), of Oamaru, who works for the North Otago Irrigation Company, and farmer Scott...
Will Fisher (left), of Oamaru, who works for the North Otago Irrigation Company, and farmer Scott Matthews (right), of Oamaru, chat to Waitaki Boys’ High School director of boarding Andrew Kaufana.
Westpac Rescue Helicopter intensive care paramedic Shane Lynch (left) chats to South Island...
Westpac Rescue Helicopter intensive care paramedic Shane Lynch (left) chats to South Island Agricultural Field Days organising committee member Daniel Schat.
Norwood North Canterbury sales representative Michael Crew (left) and sales manager James...
Norwood North Canterbury sales representative Michael Crew (left) and sales manager James Blackler were looking forward to another busy day after a successful opening day.
Brian Hawkins cooks up treats in the Malvern Lions tent.
Brian Hawkins cooks up treats in the Malvern Lions tent.
Kirwee farmer Matt Jones sees a big future in sheep milk.
Kirwee farmer Matt Jones sees a big future in sheep milk.

Record crowds last week visited the South Island Agricultural Field Days at Kirwee.

Close to 25,000 people lined up to see the machinery demonstrations, primary industry trade sites and interactive stalls on the first two days of the three-day event.

"We’ve had a wonderful few days and the weather is looking great for tomorrow, so all signs are pointing towards another bumper crowd," organising committee chairwoman Michaela McLeod said on Thursday.

"The feedback we’re getting is the exhibitors are really enjoying the positive engagement they’re having with the public."

It was a great achievement for the organising committee, which was largely made up of volunteers.

Site-holders spoken by Central Rural Life reported good engagement with clients, and most were just pleased to get out to see what was on offer.

Lincoln University student engagement manager Jaime Shone said lots of prospective students had called in, while alumni had enjoyed popping by to catch up with the latest developments.

Waitaki Boys’ High School director of boarding Andrew Kaufana was on hand to promote the boarding hostel and Fraser Farm.

"We’ve had a lot of old boys pop in and I’ve enjoyed catching up with their stories. The oldest one was from 1953. The stories they’ve told shows that the staff had caning down to an art."

Selwyn District Council staff were kept busy with inquiries about the latest building regulations and road safety.

The Silver Fern Farms site was popular promoting a new burger range, while suppliers and shareholders were treated to lunch by Dunedin chef Greg Piner, New Zealand retail brand manager Elise Le Compte said.

"The burgers are going down a treat."

Sarah Reed, of Culverden, who developed her own clothing line, The Grumpy Merino, during last year’s Covid-19 lockdown, was pleased to get out to talk to clients.

She was prompting her new blanket range and knitting yarns which were fully traceable to Grampians sheep.

"It’s pretty important to us as a family operation that we have the diversity which gets us all involved, so it’s not just the boys’ gig."

Police Sergeant Richard van Asch, who breeds South Devon cattle at nearby West Melton, was out doing the rounds.

The police joined forces with Fire and Emergency New Zealand, St John Ambulance and the Malvern Community Patrol to present an emergency services site with the police tractor attracting the most attention.

"The tractor always breaks the ice and invariably we hear about unreported crime," Sgt van Asch said.

The 2021 Agri-Innovation Award went to Frizzell’s Smart Paddock Weigher, which allowed farmers to weigh young livestock in the paddock.

Best site went to Alpine Buildings NZ, which took home the Hamish Reid Memorial Trophy, which recognises a former field days organising committee chairman.

Polaris was named best big site while Survus Consultants took home the best small site.

Add a Comment