Planning well underway for SIAFD 2019

by Anonymous Author

While it’s still almost 300 days until the next South Island Agricultural Field Days, organisers are already at work preparing to host the event in Kirwee next year.

Exhibitors are now able to register online to reserve a site for the 2019 South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) to be held at the organisation’s permanent venue on Courtenay Road, Kirwee, from Wednesday, March 27 to Friday, March 29.

This year the SIAFD organising committee has a new secretary and events coordinator, Tineka Johnstone.

Originally from Hawarden and then Methven, Ms Johnstone is well-known to many in Canterbury’s farming community through her work with the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) and NZ Young Farmers.

She said an online application form is now available on the SIAFD website, along with a prospectus that provides all the information exhibitors need to know regarding how the field days will be run, payment, advertising options and award competitions.

“We want potential exhibitors to start thinking about their options and register early,” Ms Johnstone said.

“We are upgrading the website, so at present, it looks a bit barebones, but the all necessary information is there. The new-look website will be up and running by the end of June.”

Ms Johnstone said SIAFD is well-known for its machinery demonstrations and this will again be a major attraction. Exhibitors are encouraged to put their latest machines through their paces.

“Normally the chair of the SIAFD changes for each field days, but because I am new to the role of secretary, Rodney Hadfield has stayed on for another term.

“Michaela McLeod will serve as vice chair, and Andrew Stewart will be in charge of organising the crops that will be used in the machinery demonstrations.”

SIAFD media liaison person, Daniel Schat, said a number of working bees have already been held to prepare the field days site for next year.

“This will be the third field days we have had at our Kirwee site, and we are gradually upgrading the facilities,” Mr Schat said.

“Rain in the lead-up to the last field days in 2017 left the laneways muddy, which meant extra work to get them ready for the public.

“This year we are using hard fill from the Central Plains Irrigation scheme to gravel the lanes so we will be ready if we do get wet weather.”

A new addition to SIAFD 2019 is the Smart Farming Award. The award recognises the new technology that farmers can use to gather data, make better decisions, operate their businesses more efficiently, and communicate with their advisers and suppliers.

Farming consultants Agri Magic is sponsoring the Smart Farming Award, and the winner will receive $1,500 and the runner-up $500. The winner will be announced prior to SIAFD 2019 so that they can take advantage of publicity during the field days.

For further information contact Tineka Johnstone on 03 318 1845 or or visit