OPINION: The East Coast Farming Expo has been home to robust conversations since its first event almost five years ago.
The two-day event, hosted by the Wairoa A&P Society, will be held at its showgrounds on March 6 and 7 next year.
“If you’re an East Coast/Hawke’s Bay farmer looking for the solutions to keep your business moving forward, or an agricultural innovator wanting to spread your message, this event is perfect,” says event director Dave Martin.
“The whole point of the expo is face-to-face interaction in learning about new technology.”
He says farmers on the East Coast miss out a lot, so the expo is an opportunity for them to interact directly with specialist industry innovators closer to home.
“There are huge opportunities for technology uptake, especially in sheep and beef farming, and our society is excited about the potential of this expo and being able to host it.”
Martin says the expo is also an ideal place to launch new products or release new research and technology, straight to a target audience.
He says exhibits show innovative or technology-based products and/or services for the East Coast sheep and beef industry.
“Trade sites have been designed for exhibitors to display their products and services. The 2019 event sites will be arranged in a centralised hub for the best experience for exhibitor and visitor.
“Equally, farmers and landowners can explore new ideas and have their questions answered in an exclusive and specialised environment.”
Martin says support received from exhibitors to hold the event again has been amazing and provided the motivation for the Wairoa A&P Society to host the expo for the fourth time.
“The seminar line-up is a real feature of the event with excellent speakers and inspiring topics. Presentations are timed to enable farmers to see exhibitions and attend seminars.”
The Hawkes Bay Regional Council northern catchment manager, Nathan Heath, says the council is looking forward to the event again this year and is pleased to be a major sponsor.
“Technology is going to play a very important role in the way we farm in the future. Knowing what’s available and what technology can do for us on farm can be challenging.
“To have access to people researching, producing or selling this technology on our doorstep is a great opportunity for the farmers and the community.”
Local HBRC staff will again be present to answer questions about the work they are doing and what funding opportunities exist for increasing the sustainability of land.
Next year will be power company Eastland Group’s third year as a strategic sponsor and will see the company bring a range of electric vehicles to the expo.
“The expo embraces innovation and looks to the future of farming and the wider community,” says Katherine Evett, Eastland Group’s energy champion.
“Our exhibits will include the latest electric vehicles and bikes, which visitors will be able to test drive in the arena. We’ll also be there to talk about other emerging technologies and sharing ideas about how farms could be powered in the years to come.”
The expo sponsors are Eastland Group, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) and Rural News Group.
Tickets will be available online, closer to the event, or there will be a $10 gate charge.