The countdown is on to one of the highlights of the wider region’s agriculture calendar, the 2021 East Coast Farming Expo for sheep and beef farmers.
Organisers say that, in response to feedback from exhibitors and inquiry from farmers keen to attend, they have locked in November 10 and 11 at the Mystery Creek Pavilion, the same venue used for the previous two years.
Expo spokesperson Amanda Hodgson says the focus for this year’s Expo would be broadened out to create a wider dairy field day event to fill the gap left by the axing of this year’s National Fieldays.
“We’re opening up the scope of the event and offering an invitation to any dairy sector companies outside the normal effluent and environment scope to take a site and engage with farmers,” she says.
“The strong feedback we have had is that farmers and businesses alike are eager for some face to face interaction.”
Hodgson says the broader focus for this year’s Expo means farmers can cover off their effluent management challenges and also get around the other sites to check out the latest products and services.
“This is the continuation of the journey to keep the Effluent & Environment Expo relevant to all those involved in the dairy and the wider agriculture sector,” she says.
The Mystery Creek venue offers easy access, plenty of parking, a large indoor pavilion and extensive outdoor sites that will all be equipped with power.
Respected industry professionals will present at a series of seminars throughout both days.
“We’re keen to hear from any company keen to participate this year,” Hodgson says.
The event’s main sponsors are Farm Source, Rabobank, DairyNZ, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Waikato Regional Council.
The first Effluent Expo, as it was known back then, was started in February 2011 by the Waikato Regional Council.
It says the goal was simple – to provide farmers with a one-stop shop for easy and free access to the information they needed to manage dairy effluent.
“Planning for the expo stemmed from repeated enquiries received by the regional council on effluent systems, as well as a survey on what farmers wanted to know about effluent storage,” the council says.
The event was handed over to the industry two years ago because the council felt “the message was best coming from within industry rather than council”.
“But that original goal of being a one-stop-shop for farmers still remains, and it’s the reason why we continue to get behind this event as a sponsor.
“It’s especially exciting to see the expo expand this year to include information for farmers on biosecurity. With disease and pests a very real threat to farms in the Waikato, on farm biosecurity is more important than ever.”