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Tuesday, 26 November 2019 09:55

Effluent Expo doesn’t muck around

Written by  Mark Daniel
Event Organiser Amanda Hodgson (left) & Social Licence Consultant Penny Clark-Hall. Event Organiser Amanda Hodgson (left) & Social Licence Consultant Penny Clark-Hall.

Held last week at the Mystery Creek Event Centre, the annual Effluent and Environment Expo has firmly cemented itself on the calendar.

Having ‘grown up’ a little since its days at Claudelands, Hamilton, the event, now run by Amanda Hodgson, has a broader emphasis. 

It not only exhibits effluent management products but also has sites giving advice and more content about the environment.

The free Expo has sponsors including Fonterra FarmSource, Rabobank, Dairy NZ, Waikato Regional Council and Mystery Creek. 

Education and discussion are important, with a wide range of speakers: Sir Graham Henry discussed performance, attitude and team wellbeing; Jacqueline Rowarth looked at soil biology; and Penny Clark-Hall discussing social licence and the benefits of building trust with stakeholders. 

Industry advisors speaking on farm water use, good management and adequate effluent storage give a good idea of the topical content.
The exhibition hall had about 80 sites showing existing and new technology, particularly for monitoring and automation, all helping farmers and landowners to understand and meet the arduous requirements of the clean water accords and ETS schemes.

Amanda Hodgson summed up the event, saying “We believe we’ve had a similar number of farmers through the gates as last year”.

“We’d love to see more but, interestingly, the locals were a bit thin on the ground. But we had people from the South Island, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty and Northland so it’s quality over quantity.” 

Exhibitors told Dairy News that the start of each day was a little slow and the day was over by about 2pm: dairy farmers tied to the milking shed? 

The event will grow, given the range of information on the one site and under one roof. Perhaps the uncertainty about standards is confusing farmers hearing different messages from different regions. 

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