Manawatu District Council Mayor, Helen Worboys says the district is very proud to host the Central Districts Field Days because the region sees itself as the agritech hub of NZ.
Organisers say this year’s event from March 29-31 will be bigger than ever and it will underscore the fact that SIAFD is New Zealand’s premier demonstration event for agricultural machinery.
In 2015, SIAFD held its first field days at the site it purchased on Courtenay Road, Kirwee. The executive committee bought the site when it outgrew its leased site near Lincoln University, where it was for 30 years.
“When we moved to Kirwee we purchased 40ha, which allowed us to accommodate up to 450 exhibitors. Now we have purchased an additional 40ha of land adjacent to our site,” SIAFD media spokesperson Daniel Schat says.
“While we will not occupy the entire 80ha at the 2017 field days, we will have more exhibitors and a bigger demonstration space than last time.
“The machinery demonstrations will include beet harvesters and maize choppers and a full range of balers and cultivation equipment.”
SIAFD switches between Canterbury and Southland alternate years. During the off year Kirwee farmer Tony Redman leases the SIAFD site and in recent months Cressland Contracting Ltd has been doing site development work on the newly acquired portion of the site.
Schat says SIAFD is a true community event. Dedicated volunteers organise and run the field days, and community groups provide many of the services – parking, catering and clean-up – that make them function smoothly.
“We also provide $5000 in scholarships that go to two Lincoln University students. We will announce the winners of the 2017 scholarship winners soon,” he says.