The 2021 East Coast Farming Expo is a two-day mid-week gathering (February 24-25) 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 with less than a month to go everything is ramping up.
This is the sixth Expo held and event director Sue Wilson has again pulled together an impressive list of exhibitors, speakers (including Feds National President Andrew Hoggard) and functions for the popular annual gathering.
“I am really impressed once again with the support we have from the business community,” says Sue.
“We have another top quality line-up of speakers, a great array of exhibitors and fascinating seminars covering topics that are relevant for sheep and beef farmers.”
In past years farmers and industry-aligned professionals have come from central and southern Hawke’s Bay, right up the East Coast and as far south as the Wairarapa.
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 very 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.
He has nearly 5000 followers on Facebook and his grounded messaging hit a cord with many. “It has to be grass roots to get through.” Kane-O 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 and 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 moneymaker? Tickets are limited to just 100 so be quick for this popular event.
A rolling maul of 40-minute seminars each day includes the likes of serial technology entrepreneur Melissa Clarke Reynolds, Federated Farmers of New Zealand President Andrew Hoggard (speaking at 4.15pm on February 24), 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 the much-admired 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,” says Sue. “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: 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 (including the complete programme of seminar): www.eastcoastexpo.co.nz .