Not just another day at the office Fieldays 2012

For four days every year Farmers from around the country flock to Hamilton for Fieldays at Mystery creek – the event for those who want to explore the latest in all things farming.

From tractor pull races and butchery seminars to combine harvesters and rural banking, it’s easy to see why the largest agricultural trade show in Australasia pulls in over 130,000 farmers and rural enthusiasts alike every year.

Farmlands, one of our clients was there in full force with a massive marquee offering a place for shareholders to hang out and opportunities for everyone else to learn their story and see why they’re the best in the business. For us Fieldays was a chance to chuck on our swannies, jump into some gumboots and spend the day with Farmlands. It was also a chance to get amongst the wider agricultural offerings that were present on the day.

As a curious ‘city boy’ I found the whole experience to be nothing short of enlightening. I jumped from marquee to marquee, learning how to build a fence one minute then finding out how to make the most of your lamb carcus the next. The beautiful sunny winter’s day whizzed by as I left with a greater understanding of the latest and greatest to be found in New Zealand’s primary industry.

My top 3 highlights:

Fence building competition

You think you can type fast? Well you’ve got to see these guys racing against each other to build a 50m wire fence – battling it out for the prestigious Golden Pliers trophy. When we were there they were about half way through, but apparently it really came down ‘to the wire’ in the end!

Cattle prods

Within minutes of entering the show grounds it was clear that about half the attendees were bearing one farming accessory that not only had I not thought to add to my own ‘farmer fit-in’ kit, but completely surprised me – cattle prods! Thin wooden (or plastic) sticks with a rubber handle, too thin to be a spit, and too long to be a walking stick. Farmers were walking around with them – after chatting to a few I was educated on their many uses and within minutes my kit was complete.

Top Tucker

I mean, I know that farmers like to get fed, but the food available (for free!) in most of the marquees was truly next level. I’m not talking about your standard cuppa-joe and biscuit – I’m talking full on spreads of every pastry you can think of, meat filled rolls, hot soups, and of course freshly made Barrista espresso. My favourite? A kumara and red onion soup – absolutely divine.

This is just scratching the surface of what was an amazing Fieldays 2012 experience. To sum up – a bloody good day out that held something for everyone. I’ll definitely be back next year!

Author: Tom Hewlett is a farming novice and Account Manager at justONE.