Wednesday, 10 February 2021 12:55

East Coast Farm Expo set to go

Written by  Staff Reporters
Live to Will co-founder Elle Perriam is one of the star guest speakers at the fast-approaching 2021 East Coast Farming Expo in Wairoa. Photo Supplied. Live to Will co-founder Elle Perriam is one of the star guest speakers at the fast-approaching 2021 East Coast Farming Expo in Wairoa. Photo Supplied.

The 2021 East Coast Farming Expo is a two-day mid-week gathering for sheep and beef producers with a focus on farming smarter. It’s held annually at the Wairoa A&P Showgrounds and includes exhibits, outdoor demonstrations and seminars. It’s a chance for farmers to talk one-one-one with industry innovators and leaders and has become a key go-to for the region’s farmers, as well as attracting some from further afield.

 The countdown is on for the fast-approaching East Coast Farming Expo and everything is ramping up.

Expo event director Sue Wilson has again pulled together an impressive list of exhibitors, speakers and functions for the popular annual gathering.

“I am really impressed once again with the support we have from the business community,” she says.

“We have another top-quality line-up of speakers, a great array of exhibitors and fascinating seminars covering topics that are relevant for our East Coast sheep and beef farmers.”

Mental health awareness speakers, Farm Fit NZ’s Kane-O Brisco and Will to Live co-founder Elle Perriam are primed and ready. Kane-O is known for his straight talking. The dairy farming dad of three from the Taranaki kick started a bootcamp exercise programme for farmers in 2019 and things have expanded from there.

“Five or six years ago the payout was low, and a lot were struggling . . . including us. Once I got myself right, I knew there would be a tonne of other farmers the same as me and that was the juice that got the engine started,” he says.

Brisco has nearly 5,000 followers on Facebook and his grounded messaging hit a cord with many.

“It has to be grass roots to get through.”

He will speak at Pāmu-sponsored Cuppa with Kane-O on Wednesday (February 24).

Elle’s journey began when her partner, a farm worker, took his own life in 2017, which set in motion a drive that continues to get support from all sorts of people, organisations and businesses.

She is the guest speaker at the Rural Women New Zealand Agri-Women’s Luncheon on Thursday (February 25). Her story is well-documented, but it still surprises her how strongly it continues to resonate with so many. Her nationwide tour in 2019 was a huge success and she is now on a mission to create a fund so farmers can access private counsellors when they need it.

Both luncheon events are free with general admission but do require attendees to register online.

The Bayleys Muster on Wednesday (February 24) is the perfect opportunity to tune in to an informative discussion around regenerative agriculture – myth or money-maker?

Meanwhile, a rolling maul of 40-minute seminars each day includes the likes of technology entrepreneur Melissa Clarke Reynolds, Dairy NZ board member Dr Jacqueline Rowarth, livestock breeding specialist Aimee Charteris, chairman of Wools of NZ James Parsons, and chair of New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Grand Bunting.

New to the event is Lloyd Smith from Pup Pen to Paddock fame who will be doing demonstrations both days and on hand to talk one-on-one with people. He is one of New Zealand’s best known and hugely successful dog trialists.

A Beef + Lamb NZ workshop will help farmers discover genetics fit for individual purpose, including basic principles of assessing genetic merit and how to use these to find the best animals to improve their own herd or flock performance.

“The Expo is a great opportunity to have a day off the farm but still work on your business,” Wilson says.

“It is a chance to bring your staff with you and get their input into ideas that could help your farming operations while learning new things. You can find everything you need at the expo and the best part is you don’t have to drive all the way to Mystery Creek to get access to the best.”

What's On

What: East Coast Farming Expo for sheep and beef farmers on the East Coast.

When: February 24 - 25, 2021

Where: Wairoa A&P Showgrounds

More info and tickets: 

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