A midlife crisis and the desire for a new challenge were the catalysts for Nathan and Rosie Hughes’ switch to smaller herd dairy farming three years ago.
They offer the usual mix of practicality, motivation and inspiration, the organisers say.
The theme is 'Finding the Silver Lining', with programme offerings having elements of difference at each venue.
"Our speakers are excellent as always, and chosen to challenge and inspire," says Noldy Rust, SMASH national chairman. "We're looking forward to an interesting day with great opportunities to learn."
The Fielding event (June 22) opens with former Fonterra director Mark Townshend talking about the importance of smaller herd farming to the industry and how wealth can be created in small-medium size farming businesses.
Townshend, a dairy farmer, has 40 years experience of dairy industry price volatility, and of dairying in New Zealand, Chile and the US.
Alongside Townshend will be Ian Williams, Pioneer Brand Products, to speak about how to use supplementary feeds profitably at a $4.50/kgMS payout. The day will be capped by Kevin Biggar, of TVNZ adventure documentary First Crossings fame, to speak about overcoming fear of challenges and creating momentum for success.
The Waikato conference is next , on June 24 at Cambridge.
Again, Townshend will open the day, supported by Murray Lane, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, on how to produce and manage pastures that last the distance, and Steve Cranefield, PureMilk, discussing the causes of mastitis and practical ways of reducing it.
The Waikato line-up will also have local, young, up-and-coming farmers Dave Swney, Mike O'Connor and James Courtman talking about career paths, lessons and progress through the industry.
At Westport (June 27), well-known farm accountant and raconteur Pita Alexander will open on where the industry is going. Then will come local vet Phillipa Hodges, Buller Vets, on how to get the best value from your vet. Allie Mooney, an award winning speaker, will close the day with her insightful and entertaining take on personality types.
SMASH supports dairy farmers under the guidance of farmer volunteers. It was started in 2010 by farmers who saw a need to inform and support specifically smaller herd farmers. But all farmers are welcome at the events, Rust says.
"They've been winners in the past few years, bringing together like-minded farmers to learn, share, network and socialise. They're a bit different from other industry gatherings, with a wide range of interesting topics and a friendly 'family' feel."
· Manfeild, Feilding, June 22
· Don Rowlands Centre, Karapiro, June 24
· Solid Energy Centre, Westport, June 27.
For details or to register: