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.
"As farmers we are operating in a dynamic world and we always need to change and improve to stay on top of our game," she says.
"To help farmers remain dynamic, SIDE 2022 is hosting a range of exciting speakers from different professions who have innovative solutions to tough farming challenges.
"SIDE will also give farmers the opportunity to take part in a wide range of practical workshops, and to discover the latest dairy technology and research."
SIDE will be held on 8-9 June in Oamaru. It is run by farmers, for farmers.
Former Rocket Lab engineer Craig Piggott will share how he found solutions to help his dairy farmer parents reduce their working hours. This search led him to launch Halter, a technology company which has developed a farming system that allows farmers to easily move and manage their herd through software.
Piggot is the winner of the 2020 New Zealand Hi-Tech Young Achiever award.
Founders of vodka brand 42 Below, Geoff Ross and Justine Ross, will share how they swapped life in Auckland for an Otago high country sheep farm.
Their property, Lake Hawea Station, was the first farm in New Zealand to have its carbon footprint certified. It is also 'carbon positive' and they will explain how this offers them a unique marketing advantage.
Dr Tom Mulholland will talk about strategies farmers can use to maintain their physical and mental health in times of stress.
Mulholland spent 25 years in emergency medicine and eight years travelling around New Zealand with his pop-up medical clinic. His focus is educating Kiwis on how to avoid preventable diseases and he has developed a wellness app to help people monitor and manage their health.
"SIDE is a great opportunity for farmers to get off-farm and network with other farmers.
"With exhibition space already sold out, we encourage farmers to register soon to avoid missing out on SIDE this year," says Wakelin.
Farmers can also join four of 14 practical workshops on a wide range of topics from wintering to milk futures, reproduction, plantain and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
SIDE 2022 is being held for the first time at the heritage town of Oamaru.
The event will be held at the historic Oamaru Opera House and the Brydone Hotel.
SIDE 2022 is supported by DairyNZ, Ravensdown and Fonterra.
To find out more and register for SIDE 2022 visit www.side.org.nz.
As par of SIDE 2022, a separate BrightSIDE event for young farmers and farm team staff who want to progress their careers is also being held on 8 June 2022 at Oamaru. BrightSIDE will include workshops on:
- how to keep yourself healthy
- new technology to make managing farms easier
- career progression opportunities in dairy
- developing good financial habits.
BrightSIDE registration is $100 per person and includes a free hoodie, goodie bag, morning tea, lunch, drinks and nibbles.