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Panellists

EAST Coast Farming Expo manager Sue Wilson was proud to announce the 2020 Bayleys Muster and thrilled to have Bayleys on board for a highlight of the two-day event.

The muster has always proved popular, and this year the panel discussion centres on “Rural Communities — Challenges with Change.”

The evening muster is on Wednesday (February 26) from 6pm-9pm, and the Expo continues the next day.

“It allows the conversations to continue in an informal setting over a drink and a bite to eat, with the bonus of a brilliant panel discussion,” Mrs Wilson said,

Bayleys Gisborne principal James Macpherson said the company was once again proud to be sponsors of the East Coast Farming Expo.

“The support we get from our loyal clients throughout the Wairoa District and the wider East Coast is essential to our business, meaning we get considerable pleasure when we have the opportunity to support regional growth initiatives.”

This year's panel includes Agriculture Minister, Damien O'Connor, who said the Farming Expo was a wonderful initiative in an area that has huge growth potential.

“New Zealand's East Coast climate offers a variety of land use options that will only grow as government infrastructure initiatives are rolled out. This Expo is a special opportunity to bring members of our primary industries together.

“I look forward to meeting and talking with locals about their unique challenges and opportunities.”

Beef and Lamb New Zealand's Mark Harris will be another panelist.

“I'm really looking forward to being involved again this year with the Expo, a great initiative to interact and share resources with the local rural community.

“The panel discussion is a great opportunity for open discussion about where we, as a community, want things to head for our kids and grandkids.

“It's a privilege to have been asked to be part of the panel.”

Panelist and National MP for Tuki Tuki, Lawrence Yule, said rural communities were under massive change similar to the removal of SMPs in the eighties.

“Legislation shifts are undermining rural community confidence. Changes to the overseas investment rules that incentivise forestry, new water quality rules and climate change legislation are having a profound impact on rural confidence,” Mr Yule said.

“New Zealand farmers are some of the most efficient in the world for productivity and carbon emissions. Changes need to be made in tandem with farmers and at a pace that supports our export base.”

Sheep and beef farmer Nuku Hadfield also joins the panel. Nuku and husband Bart Hadfield have won the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori farming.

“The evening muster in its new format will allow the panellists to provide some realistic feedback on how our rural communities can navigate the changes we face with positive outcomes,” she said.

The Expo's two days of exhibitions and presentations creates opportunities for sheep and beef farmers to network, educate, learn and celebrate agricultural innovation.

“The trade exhibits, seminars and muster provide the ideal environment for Hawke's Bay and East Coast farmers to talk to industry innovators and experts,” Mrs Wilson said.

Tickets to individual events are available online. You can also download your free Expo tickets online, or pay $10 at the gate.

For more information head to www.eastcoastexpo.co.nz

PANELLISTS: Agriculture minister Damien O'Connor will be among the panellists for the 'Muster' on Wednesday night, held as part of the East Coast Farming Expo at the Wairoa Showgrounds. File picture
PANELLISTS: Mark Harris from B+LNZ will be among the panellists for the 'Muster' on Wednesday night, held as part of the East Coast Farming Expo at the Wairoa Showgrounds. File picture
PANELLISTS: Ahuwhenua trophy co-winner Nuku Hadfield will be among the panellists for the 'Muster' on Wednesday night, held as part of the East Coast Farming Expo at the Wairoa Showgrounds. File picture