Thursday, 15 June 2023 11:55

Event empowering farmers to adapt, succeed in tough environment

Written by  Staff Reporters
SIDE organising committe left to right - Megan Thomas, Annalize du Plessis, Elliot Cleland, Emma Hammond, Amy Johnston, Jess Goodwright, Ollie Badcock Absent: Clare Officer, Toria Cummings, Guy Michaels. SIDE organising committe left to right - Megan Thomas, Annalize du Plessis, Elliot Cleland, Emma Hammond, Amy Johnston, Jess Goodwright, Ollie Badcock Absent: Clare Officer, Toria Cummings, Guy Michaels.

The theme for this year's South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) being held at ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill on June 28 and 29 is "Adapt, Empower, and Succeed".

The local committee, a group of farmers and rural professionals based in Southland, chaired by Emma Hammond, came up with the theme after a lengthy discussion about what it takes to be a dairy farmer in today's environment.

"Farmers not only have the normal challenges of running a business, such as financial pressures, staff shortages and rising costs, they also have to deal with weather events and ever-changing compliance regulations," says Hammond.

"That is where SIDE provides an opportunity for farmers to get together, listen to new ideas, gain new knowledge and learn how technology can help with these challenges, and hopefully empower them to keep going and enjoy their success".

SIDE has three high profile keynote speakers lined up, including Black Fern Tyla Nathan-Wong, para-triathlete Shaz Dagg, sharing their inspirational stories, and Deputy Secretary of trade and economics Vangelis Vitalis to talk about "what it takes to trade with the world".

Comedian Nick Rado will be the master of ceremonies.

Shaz Dagg

In between these empowering speakers, SIDE has 12 workshops which involve Q&A sessions, discussions from industry experts, and feedback from farmers on their experience with such topics as wearables, growing summer safe crops, preparing for adverse weather events, and tackling your to-do list.

As well as the main SIDE conference, BrightSIDE, which is a one-day event created for students, young farmers or those looking to enter or progress through the dairy industry, is being held on the first day of the conference on Wednesday June 28.

Speakers on offer at BrightSIDE include Kane Brisco on becoming Fit to Farm, followed by Tom Hartmann, finance guru from Sorted, who will talk about getting your personal finances sorted.

After lunch, the delegates then listen to the stories of three ambitious dairy farm workers on how they are progressing and creating wealth in the dairy industry: Dairy farm manager Laura Mudoch, national runner up in the Dairy Trainee section of the Dairy Industry Awards, Brayden Johnston and contract milkers Gonzalo Bascur and Nayabet Espinoza.

The BrightSIDE delegates then rejoin the SIDE conference to listen to a contract milking panel session with farm owners, contact milkers, a banker and an accountant.

Local Southland farmers Amy Johnston and Toria Cummings are the organisers of BrightSIDE and are excited about bringing it back to Southland after its conception four years ago, which Johnston was involved in.

"We can't wait to give these young people the opportunity to listen to these inspirational speaker and a Q&A session with up and coming dairy farmers. It is so rewarding to watch people progressing in the dairy industry, and BrightSIDE enables the spark to ignite. Often large and busy dairy farms don't have the time to coach their young staff, so BrightSIDE is a positive way to inspire and coach these staff, motivating them to stay in the industry, and connecting like-minded people."

Tyla Nathan Wong FBTW

Tyla Nathan-Wong

By Farmers, For Farmers

The South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) is one of the biggest dairy events of the year, and is run by farmers for farmers.

The event features three keynote speakers, 12 workshops, as well as opportunities for dairy farmers and their team to learn and network.

This year's theme is "Adapt, Empower, and Succeed" and the event will focus on supporting farming businesses to evolve in the ever-changing environment they are operating in.

SIDE Details

What: South Island Dairy Event (SIDE)

When: Wednesday June 28 & Thursday June 29, 2023

Where: ILT Stadium Southland, Invercargill


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