Monday, 01 November 2021 09:20

2022 Expo gearing up for cracker in challenging times

Written by  Staff Reporters
Alan Irwin gives a working dog training demo at the 2021 Expo. Photo supplied Alan Irwin gives a working dog training demo at the 2021 Expo. Photo supplied

The ethos behind the East Coast Farming Expo is always focussed on bringing the best of innovation to the coast.

It’s held mid-week to make it easier for sheep and beef farmers from across the East Coast and Hawke’s Bay to take time out and chat one on one with industry leaders.

There are demonstrations, displays and seminars, each one carefully selected to ensure it is relevant, cutting edge and innovative.

Event manager Sue Wilson says everyone is looking forward to the 2022 Expo.

“If there is one thing we can all take out of lockdown times is the value of having some mates around and the Expo is most definitely a place where you can have a good yarn,” she says. “This is all about farmers connecting with agribusiness and innovators.”

Wilson says that with the cancellation of many A&P shows, the Expo becomes even more important to the farming community.

“It could well be the largest agricultural event on the East Coast this season.”

Planning for the 2022 event, which is being held February 23 and 24, is well underway with a number of new exhibitors already registered and strategic sponsors Property Brokers, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Rural News Group all on board.

A number of exciting seminar presenters are already locked in.

One exciting addition to the 2022 line-up is the Wednesday morning trade breakfast featuring St John Craner from Agrarian who will give valuable insight into how to make more rural sales.

Wairoa Community Development Trust chair Sefton Alexander says in such challenging Covid-affected times, it is becoming harder and harder to have those face-to-face conversations that are so important on so many levels.

“The Expo is where that can happen,” he says. “It is a place where farmers can comfortably talk to people who bring a lot to the industry.”

The Expo is owned by the Wairoa Community Development Trust who see it as a perfect fit for their drivers which include enhancing the social, economic, cultural and environmental development to benefit the Wairoa region.

“We are about creating opportunities to connect rural communities and working together to leave a legacy for the next generation,” says Sefton.

Mike Heard, Property Brokers rural and lifestyle area manager for Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, says their decision to support the Expo is an easy one.

“We believe in the rural sector as the heart and soul of our region,” says Heard. “The opportunity to sponsor this event is such a privilege as it sits well with our family values as a company right across New Zealand.”

He says that for him, the coming together of farmers, rural experts and support networks is a real highlight, and one he and his team look forward to.

“The sheep and beef industry on the East Coast has a huge financial and holistic impact on our region and needs to be supported. The need for innovation and support in an ever-changing world is paramount to the ongoing success of meat and figure production not only in our region, but across the nation.”

It is a similar story for Rural News general manager Adam Fricker who says events like the Expo are vital forums for the industry to remain innovative by sharing ideas and expertise.

. “It really is a rare learning opportunity for farmers with a quality line-up of seminars and a great trade display element focussed on new tech,” says Fricker. ““It’s a bit of trope to say the sheep and beef industry needs to keep evolving to remain viable, but it is true – the Expo is a tangible, accessible way for farmers to learn new things and keep doing just that.”

Peter Manson, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Wairoa team lead, says the best thing about the Expo is its scale and the drawcard it is for people.

“Farmers from throughout the East Coast and Hawke’s Bay come to the Expo because it has a friendly, easy-going atmosphere with many of the advantages of a national event,” says Manson.

“We can easily do ‘business’ without suffering through a sales process. The East Coast Farmers Expo is a day or two off the farm at the right time of the year. The personal touch is well suited to sheep and beef farmers needs and the Expo is a great opportunity to catch up with everyone in the community.”

Anyone interested in having a trade exhibit at the Expo should contact Sue Wilson through the website.

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