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Wairoa Expo a one-stop shop for farmers

FARMING smarter is a focus of the 2021 East Coast Farming Expo which starts tomorrow in Wairoa.

The two-day gathering for sheep and beef producers is held annually at Wairoa Showgrounds and includes exhibits, outdoor demonstrations and seminars.

Local farmers and some from further afield will have the chance to check out the exhibits and technology firsthand, listen to world-class speakers, and have one-on-one conversations with industry innovators and leaders and others who can help them in their farming operations.

Expo event manager Sue Wilson has been keeping a close eye on Covid-19 developments which brought about one swift change.

“It was unfortunate well-respected dog trainer Lloyd Smith made the call not to travel north because of the recent community cases, but we were really lucky to secure farm dog guru Allen Irwin,” Sue says.

The Gisborne-based farmer is held in high regard as a trainer and triallist.

“How lucky are we to have such talent available right here in our own backyard?”

Ms Wilson and her team have endeavoured to open the Expo to more exhibitors than ever.

“There is something there for everyone — from dog kennels to cloud storage options, solar water pumps, nutrition experts, genetics, communication gurus and more.

“It really is a one-stop shop for farmers.”

Internationally-recognised speakers for the 40-minute seminars are serial technology entrepreneur Melissa Clarke Reynolds, Dairy NZ board member Dr Jacqueline Rowarth, livestock breeding specialist Aimee Charteris, Wools of NZ chairman James Parsons and New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef chairman Grant Bunting.

Mental and physical wellbeing is the focus of the two luncheons at which Farm Fit NZ's Kane-O Briscoe and Will to Live founder Elle Perriam will speak.

“Both luncheons are free to attend with a general admission ticket, but registrations are required for catering,” Ms Wilson says.

Wednesday night's Bayleys Muster promises an informative discussion between Federated Farmers national president Andrew Hoggard, adjunct professor Jacqueline Rowarth, regenerative farmer Greg Hart, Holistic Agriculture managing director Robbie Hill and Climate Change Commission principal analyst Dr Philip Wiles.

“They will delve into regenerative agriculture — myth or moneymaker? Tickets are available online,” Ms Wilson says.

“The genetics-focused B+LNZ workshop is expected to be well attended, helping 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.

“We like to say coming to the Expo is accessing the best without the massive roadie to the Waikato (Mystery Creek), and when I sit back and look at the list of who we have at the 2021 event, I am confident everyone will agree with the sentiment.”

■ For more information and tickets go to www.eastcoastexpo.co.nz