Field days event shaping up to be biggest ever

The South Island Agricultural Field Days have attracted more than 600 exhibitors, making it one of the biggest events in its 70-year history.The event started on Wednesday and runs until Friday, with about 30,000 people expected through the door.

Organising committee chairwoman Michaela McLeod, of Tai Tapu, said the biennial event will boast the largest working machinery display of any field days in the country.

“This is something that really sets us apart from other field days and is a wonderful drawcard for intending purchasers to be able to see a large range of equipment in action,” McLeod said.

The South Island Agricultural Field Days, founded in 1951, is the oldest show of its kind in New...
The South Island Agricultural Field Days, founded in 1951, is the oldest show of its kind in New Zealand and is taking place until Friday. Photo: Geoff Sloan
New Zealand’s oldest and largest regional agricultural field days had humble beginnings, as a Young Farmers Club fundraising machinery demonstration and sale at Motukarara.

The focus on machinery continues to this day, and exhibitors from all over New Zealand will showcase their latest big-ticket items on paddocks of barley, lucerne and other crops.

They will have a big audience, with thousands expected through the gates over the three days.

Christchurch Helicopters’ spraying and spreading operation will take to the skies. It will also have its Guimbal Cabri G2 training aircraft on hand for those thinking about getting into the aviation industry.

Kiwi rally ace Hayden Paddon’s 400kW rally monster will add appeal to the Gravity NZ site on opening day today, before moving over to the Hyundai site tomorrow and Friday. 

Up to 30,000 people are expected to turn up over the three-day event. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Up to 30,000 people are expected to turn up over the three-day event. Photo: Geoff Sloan
McLeod said the field days was also a good opportunity for farmers and agricultural workers to meet like-minded people and share ideas and discuss challenges.

One of the events she was looking forward to seeing was the country women competition. Entrants will undertake challenges such as milking a fake cow and backing a trailer on a quad bike.

McLeod is the first woman to hold the chairperson position. The mother of two runs an independent agricultural research business with husband Ben. She first joined the field days organising committee in 2011.

“This will be our fourth event at our permanent home in Kirwee. The last year has seen us in unprecedented times with a global pandemic and, thankfully, agriculture has been recognised as the shining light that we all know it to be,” she said.

 

 

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