Wednesday, May 22, 2024

‘The Friendly Field Days’ smiling again 

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Northland Field Days expecting great things after a tough few years.
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Northland Field Days is off and running again for a second year after two cancellations because of covid and a dampner in 2023 that cut exhibitor and visitor numbers.

Event organiser Luciana Schwarz said the committee of volunteers who run the event is expecting more than 20,000 visitors this year over the three days, compared with 17,000 last March when bad weather stopped many travelling to the north.

More than 300 exhibitors have registered this year, more than before 2020, and some have begun work on their sites already.

In this the 39th year, the 37th event will run from February 29 to March 2, with the gates open at 9am and closing to members of the public at 3pm.

The gold sponsors are Hansen Products, Gallagher and Ravensdown.

There are a further 45 sponsors and the voluntary committee is deeply grateful to all farmers who donated livestock and exhibitors who donated their site fees during the two years in which the field days were not held because of covid.

Committee chair Julie Fox said this year’s event is a momentum maker after three years of adverse events. She said the 20-plus committee members are enthusiastic and looking forward to dry, warm weather.

“Site works have been underway for two months and the roads will be re-metalled soon.

“We are delighted to be rebuilding of a strong foundation with plenty of enthusiasm.”

Fine weather brought Northland farmers and their families out in good numbers for the provincial field days in 2023, after two years of cancellations.

Schwarz said the new attractions at this year’s field days included a small maize maze, a mini-Mack haulage truck and trailer to take people around the site, and a demonstration by Aerolab of its large drone for agricultural purposes such as spraying and spreading.

A ride on the truck and trailer will be by gold coin donation and the money will go to the Northland Rescue Helicopter.

A sunflower field will provide a great sight from the picnic tables scattered around and from 1pm on Saturday people can buy a sunflower for a gold coin donation.

Demonstration diggers will also be on site for adults and children, and a water park containing giant bowls in which people can ride and rotate and not get wet.

The usual events such as tractor pulling, competition fencing, lawn mower racing and sheep dog trialling are featured on the programme.

The Northland Field Days mission is “to become the leading regional field days in New Zealand and to host a world class agricultural event each year”.

The motto is to remain “The Friendly Field Days”.

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