Over 420 dairy farmers gathered in Oamaru last week for SIDE 2022, with a focus on building skills and discussing solutions to challenges facing the farming sector.
The level and speed of change we are facing is unprecedented, and the days of holding back, pushing back and putting our heads in the sand are gone.
Our farming businesses have to evolve if we want to keep up with the changing climate and continue to survive and prosper.
These challenges are fundamental to the SIDE 2021 mission statement: "To equip farmers with knowledge, understanding, tools and motivation to lead an ever-evolving dairy sector with pride, confidence and resilience", and the theme for the 2021 SIDE conference, EVOLVE.
The committee and I are proud to bring the event back to Canterbury in a revitalised format, at a fantastic new venue. I am fortunate to have a committed, passionate and extremely enthusiastic committee that has worked tirelessly to bring you this event.
We've chosen speakers and workshops that will be thought-provoking, and crafted a format that encourages networking, conversations and a good few laughs along the way.
We have constructed the event around four pillars: environment, business, people, and cows and grass.
Our workshops are designed around three outcomes: connect (where we have come from), discover (new learning) and grow (take-home practical tools).
SIDE2021 has a strong focus on interaction, with a lot more time allocated for questions and answers. BrightSIDE focuses on exposing the next generation of dairy farmers and business owners to SIDE and giving them some powerful tools and motivation to kickstart and grow their careers in this awesome industry.
Our inspirational keynote speakers will set the scene for our workshop presenters to share their knowledge and leave you buzzing after every workshop.
It is so exciting to have SIDE 2021 back in Canterbury, and I am looking forward to spending two days with like-minded delegates and fellow farmers, learning how we can connect, discover, grow and ultimately EVOLVE, leading the world in what we do best!
Andrew Slater is chairman of the 2021 event committee.
For Farmers, By Farmers
The first farmer-led South Island Dairy Event was in 1999.
Since then SIDE has alternated between Canterbury and Southland, with two events in Dunedin.
After two years in the lower South Island, the SIDE team is excited to have the event back in Canterbury at the Ashburton Event Centre.
Although SIDE is by farmers for farmers, it could not function without the valued partnership of DairyNZ, and ongoing support from gold sponsors ASB, Ravensdown, and Fonterra, and an array of silver sponsors.