Issue 2, 2014 Produced by The School of Media Arts, Waikato Institute of Technology
Read us online at www.waikatoindependent.co.nz/fieldays/
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Contents 4 Shortbites 6 Recipes Photo credit to Jael Clausen Meet the team. We are the Fieldays Exhibitor student Graphic Designers; Left to right: Shawnee Hooper, Rebecca Steenkamer, Jasmine Saussey, AnneMarie Gordon, Chenoa Dawn Joy Murdoch.
From the editor’s desk Welcome to our final edition of the Fieldays Exhibitor for 2014. You may have seen our student reporters and photographers out and about, roaming far and wide across Mystery Creek to find and tell your stories. And it couldn’t have happened without our design team back at base. We go behind the scenes in our features section: Read our spread on what it takes to build an instant town, and on the volunteers who keep things ticking. In short bites, we check out some snazzy gumboots, ask visitors what they’ve been up to at Fieldays and tempt the tastebuds with an array of venison recipes from the chefs presenting at Kiwi’s Best Kitchen. We also report on the winning exhibitor stand for 2014, and teen inventor Patrick Roskam pops up again after his second innovation win in two years. And read our interview with one of the Waikato rural bachelors, ahead of the announcement of the winner at midday today. Plus, as usual, you’ll find Kingsley Field’s take on Fieldays on our final editorial page. We’ve had a great time bringing the Fieldays Exhibitor to you. Once again, happy reading, and we’ll see you again next year. In the meantime, keep reading online at waikatoindependent.co.nz/fieldays
Read us online at www.waikatoindependent.co.nz/fieldays/
7 News 9 TV dogs on show 10 Rural Transport’s latest Evolution 11 Off-road at Fieldays 12 The Woolrunner 13 Cloud farming floats into Fieldays 14 Over the Moon for cheese 15 Awareness best defence against pests 17 Talk about a revolution 18 Behind the scenes at Mystery Creek 20 Meet the volunteers 22 Kingsley Field
The Exhibitor Fieldays Exhibitor is created by Wintec students and distributed to exhibitors at Fieldays. The Exhibitor has published since 2004 and has been recognised by the NZ National Fieldays Society for its outsanding contribution to the success of Fieldays. Reporters Merana Austin, Lauren Barnard, Brooke Bath, Donna-Lee Biddle, Megan Cameron, Rachael Clarke, Oliver Dunn, Alyson Eberle, Nancy El-Gamel, Audrey Ellis, Manpreet Farrar, Rich Garratt, Genae Johns, Bronwyn Llewellyn, Erin Majurey, Lisa McGee, David Nicoll, Jason Renes, Brad Roberts, Don Rowe Graphic Designers Anne-Marie Gordon, Shawnee Hooper, Chenoa Dawn Joy Murdoch, Jasmine Saussey, Rebecca Steenkamer, Photographers Kelsey Carter, Michelle Corbett, Adam Edwards, Keely Jensen, Naomi Johnston, Awhina Kerr, Nicola Kosovich, Ashleigh Muir, Hannah Pedersen, Craig Richmond, Hannah Rolfe, Luke Smeith, Caughey Teisi, Denise Van Dam, Rebecca Watson, Evan Xiao, Jael Clausen Wintec staff Simon Nicholls, Mark Curtis, Geoff Ridder, Stefanie Young, Dudley Neal, Mark Liu, Richard Walker, Jeremy Smith. Charles Riddle Cover Image Credit to Evan Xiao for issue 1 and 2 cover photos of the Fieldays Exhibitor 2014
The Fieldays Exhibitor
Putting the boot into Fieldays Lisa McGee rounds up the range of gumboots being worn at Mystery Creek this week.
Hannah Lister came with her school, John Paul College in Rotorua, but she is from Tirau.
Some gumboots have come all the way from Denmark and so has Jame Krebs. Her gumboots are by Danish designer Ilsa Jacobsen and cost about NZ$189.
Jane Wood, a Hyundai VIP is keeping dry in her floral gumboots.
Five months ago, Alyson Eberle’s dad bought a farm, so he also bought her gumboots from The Warehouse.
Te Kuiti raised, Brooke Bath always has her Red Bands in the boot of her car.
Sam Lewis bought her zebra print gumboots from Number One Shoes.
Limoncello – nothing sour about it By Don Rowe / Photography by Hannah Rolfe The Kiwi’s Best Kitchen houses all manner of boutique and niche food stalls. There are dried meat salesman, honeyed liqueur merchants and purveyors of fine cheese. And then there are the suppliers of Italy’s hidden gem, limoncello.
The wall of the Loggia stall is adorned with awards. “In 2014, we won the gold medal in California. We were the only ones to be awarded a double gold medal at the San Francisco Spirit Awards, no limoncello has ever won a double gold medal.”
“We wanted something that was clean and striking, and how we saw limoncello to be,” explained Chew. “It’s a mix between having something traditional and authentic but still appealing to the younger generation.
Limoncello is an alcoholic liqueur made from the zest of the lemon.
The Loggia brew uses lemons exclusively from their home base of Kerikeri.
Two exhibitors sell limoncello exclusively.
“We are trying to keep it as Kiwi as possible, but our recipe is Italian. It is a family recipe, a family business, and we have been in this business for five generations.”
The Chews plan on starting their own lemon grove. “That’s something we’re going to develop. It takes time, but the Kapiti Coast is certainly a good place to grow lemons.”
Italian importers Stefano and Paolo Loggia are fifth generation limoncello producers. Paolo has been in New Zealand for seven years, and is Sovrano Limoncello’s spokesman at the Fieldays. “Our recipe is 150 years old. Since 2010, we have been judged the best limoncello in the world,” he said with all the enthusiasm of a true Italian.
When it became clear I would not be offered another sample, I took my leave of the Loggia stall and headed to competitors Soprano Limoncello.
I left the Kiwi Best Kitchen and considered what I had learned from my time with the Loggias and Chews. While the two competitors are different at first glance, they share the bonds of family and a real, tangible passion for the lemon. Not bad for a zesty little fruit.
Just like Sovrano, Soprano Limoncello is a family run affair. The Chew family from the Kapiti Coast follow an Italian recipe given to them by the previous owner, an Italian who produced the drink as a boutique product. I spoke with mum Ingrid while her daughter minded the stall.
Paolo and Stefano Loggia from Sovrano
“We peel the lemons ourselves and hand-craft the limoncello right to the end stage,” she told me. Even the aesthetic is a product of the family.
Ellie and Ingrid Chew from Soprano
Tom Gray, school pupil from Manawahe, Whakatane, has attended Fieldays four times. Best part of Fieldays
Genae Johns asks Fieldays visitors about the best part of Fieldays, who will win the Rural Bachelor and where the best food place is.
Samantha Jenkins, from Hamilton, has visited Fieldays in the past but is a first time worker.
“The best thing about Fieldays is seeing all the cool new things.” Who will win the Rural Bachelor? “I’m not interested in the bachelors.”
Best part of Fieldays Where’s the best food? “I enjoy the free stuff.” “BNZ has the best food.” Who will win the Rural Bachelor? “I have no idea on the bachelors.”
Gemma Parsons, from Morrinsville, has been to Fieldays twice. Best part of Fieldays
Where’s the best food?
“The best thing about Fieldays is the rain and mud and the farming atmosphere.”
“VW has the best coffee.”
Brendon Cookson, a first time Fieldays goer from Rotorua.
Who will win the Rural Bachelor? “I already have my bachelor.”
Best part of Fieldays “The only reason I took this job was to talk to the beautiful women.”
Where’s the best food? “The best food at Fieldays is my own home made lunches.”
Who will win the Rural Bachelor? “Can I enter?” Where’s the best food? “Mix and Match Ice Cream is the best food place.
Irene Ravine, a first time Fieldays visitor from Hawke’s Bay Best part of Fieldays “The best thing so far has been one of the garden exhibits. That was where I made my first Fieldays purchase when I didn’t plan on buying anything.”
Fieldays by the numbers 75 1200 300 3 9 2 16
litres of wine given away by Akarua, by midday Thursday square metres in the Hyundai tent
More than Who will win the Rural Bachelor?
Fonterra products for free sampling
“I didn’t know the bachelor event was on.”
Where’s the best food? “The donut stores are very enticing.”
buses stuck in the mud on Thursday police officers at Fieldays
The Fieldays Exhibitor
Plating up with venison Recipes from Kiwi’s Best Kitchen presenters, compiled by Audrey Ellis.
Thai Venison Salad with Nam Jim Dressing Recipe from chef Sally Haslett
Haslett has taken a light approach to the rich and tender meat by combining it with the best of Asian flavours.
Woodburn Venison fillet pack 220g or 250g steak pack or 400g Stirfry Sea salt and cracked pepper 1⁄2 tsp dried chilli 1 tsp coriander seeds crushed Olive oil Handful of salted peanuts Juice of 1 lime Extra virgin olive oil 1⁄2 tsp sesame oil 1⁄2 tbsp soy sauce 1⁄2 tsp brown sugar 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped 2 spring onions 1/3 packet mung beans 1⁄2 mango sliced Handful rocket leaves Bunch coriander & mint 1⁄2 cucumber
Slice venison steaks or fillets into thin strips. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle venison with salt, pepper, chilli flakes & coriander. Heat pan to high heat then add a little oil and quickly stir fry, this only takes a minute. Meanwhile roast the peanuts in a medium oven for 10min. Drizzle with olive oil. Roughly chop and set aside. Squeeze lime juice, top with equal amount olive oil. Add sesame oil, sugar and chilli, mix well. Finely slice spring onions, add to bowl with sprouts, rocket and herbs. Use a fork to scrape down the cucumber, then cut in half scoop out seeds then slice thinly. Add to bowl and lastly mango slices with venison. Drizzle dressing over use your hands to toss everything together. Serve on a platter or individual bowls. Garnish with chopped nuts.
Cashew & garlic Venison Recipe from chef Alisha Phelps
The rich flavour of the venison is complemented with simple ingredients making it perfect for the home cook to enjoy.
Venison Garlic salt Olive oil 1 cup roasted salted cashews 1 clove garlic 2 tsp brown sugar
Slice venison fillets lengthways to about 2cm in thickness. Season venison generously with garlic salt and olive oil. Allow seasoning to soak into the meat. In a mortar and pestle, crush garlic and cashews into a fine crumble. Add a dollop of olive oil, brown sugar and extra garlic salt to the cashew mixture. Stir to combine. Coat the venison with the cashew mixture so both sides have a thin crust. In a hot pan, sear the venison for 30 seconds until medium rare. Allow meat to rest.
Recipe from chef Sally Haslett
1 Denver Leg (300g) olive oil Drizzle with oil, ground pepper then roll up.
Serve sliced on a dish or whole with a side of fresh red onion.
Ruahine Boysenberry Port, shallots and balsamic Venison
Soy & Lime Dressing 75ml lime juice 100ml soy sauce 100ml sesame oil 85g brown sugar 150ml coconut cream
Recipe from chef Alisha Phelps
Venison Red onion Shallots Garlic Butter Olive oil Balsamic vinegar Ruahine Boysenberry Port
Season venison with salt and olive oil. In a hot pan, stir fry red onion and shallots until soft. Add 1 tbsp of butter to shallot mixture. Add two cloves of chopped garlic to shallots and simmer. Add a generous helping of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to shallots. Reduce to a thickness you prefer and remove from heat. Sear venison until medium rare. While the meat rests, put shallots back onto heat and add Ruahine Boysenberry Port. Flambé the port mixture until all alcohol has been reduced off. Remove from heat. Place venison on a dish and gently spoon over sauce to your liking. 6
Using a hot pan cook venison quickly – one minute each side. Finish in hot oven – 7-9 minutes. Wrap and rest in foil.
Whisk first four ingredients, then slowly whisk in sesame oil. Add coconut cream and mix well until smooth. Strain through sieve.
Asian Vegetable Salad Ingredients
100g capsicum 25g pickled ginger 50g pickled daikan radish 15g coriander 75g red cabbage 25g spring onion 25ml pickled ginger juice
Julienne all ingredients and mix together in a bowl. Add pickled ginger juice and leave to sit for at least an hour. Slice venison thinly and layer on large plate slightly overlapping. Season slightly with salt and pepper. Place a small pile of asian vegetables in the middle of the venison. Drizzle with soy sauce and lime dressing. Garnish.
Winning team: Gary Sanders drives the track watched by team members Clive Sellers, Steph Kennard, Rebecca Joyce and Greg MacDonald
First-timers scoop Jubilee Award By Rachael Clarke / Photography by Michelle Corbett Fiat Chrysler New Zealand has won the Jubilee site award for Fieldays 2014 – and it is their first time at the event. But they almost didn’t turn up to the awards evening, held on Thursday night at the Village Green, Mystery Creek. “Some judges said we should come along to the awards yesterday, so yeah about five of us rocked up,” said Fiat Chrysler NZ brand activation manager Rebecca Joyce. “It feels great. It’s been six months of planning and to be rewarded for it is very satisfying. “Everyone back at head office is really, really stoked for us.” Circling their Fieldays site is a large muddy track which they use to demonstrate their Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Ute to Fieldays goers. It was brought over from Australia for the event, and Joyce said it is something they are looking to sell. “We are looking to sell the kit itself...you can fit it into any 4-door Wrangler.”
When driver and Fiat Chrysler NZ Commercial Vehicle Sales Gary Sanders asked if I wanted to “jump in” and have a ride, I blurted out yes without thinking it through. Before I knew it I was buckled in and ready to go. But there was one big, giant catch – a massive drop, halfway through the track, was waiting for me. Approaching the drop, Gary looked at me and said “you must hold on to the bar there Rachael, it’s steep” – not something I want to hear. We drop down in front of a large crowd, many capturing the moment on their iPhones. Oh that wasn’t too bad I thought... “Wanna go again?” he asked. “Of course,” I answered over-confidently. We approached the drop, second time round, and Gary left us hanging at the top for what felt like an eternity. The suspense was killing me. “Do you trust me?” said Gary, smiling. We dropped more suddenly and faster than last time.
The track itself was designed and built by Showscape, a Hamilton-based company. Joyce said it wasn’t a costly project and that they wanted to “keep it local”. “A few other companies approached us but we decided we wanted to use a local company to support the community down here and because they have everything on site.” She added Showscape moved onsite a month before Fieldays to start the excavation of the track, and the track’s design took roughly 3-4 months to decide on. “We went back and forth for a good couple of months,” said Joyce. Will they be back next year after their massive success this year? “Absolutely. “Next year we’d like to be in a more prominent position. We know spaces book out pretty quick.” The team planned on celebrating and having some fun – because, according to Joyce, “Hamiltonians know how to party”.
I decided it’s time to get out of this thing. The Fieldays Exhibitor
It’s a bromance for the bachelors By Manpreet Farrar It’s been four days of intense competition under an unfamiliar media spotlight for Brett Steeghs and the other Fieldays rural bachelor of the year contenders. Eight rural bachelors competed in heats throughout the four days, engaging in challenges and countless numbers of “speed dates.” Steeghs said they were “a really good bunch of boys this year. It’s been pretty full-on we’re always doing something and we’re always on the go.” But the best part Steeghs said, was meeting “seven great guys” and making seven new friends. The 26 year Tirau dairy farmer was born and bred on his family farm. He currently works on a dairy farm in Hora Hora. The opportunity to join the competition arose at a Young Farmers club meeting.
Brett Steeghs says he has grown as a person during the competition.
Two wins in row for young inventor Brooke Bath
“At first I thought nah but then I went home and thought, bugger it, it’s a great opportunity to get your name out there. I’m a firm believer in pushing yourself and getting out there trying new things.
Young inventor Patrick Roskam is going from strength to strength, winning Fieldays Young Inventor of the Year award for his invention The Gudgeon Pro 5 in 1 Gate Hanger.
Becoming a farmer has always been a part of his goals as he pursues his plans for farm ownership within the next 10 years.
But you wouldn’t know the 13-year-old boy had been sick since the early hours of the morning with a tummy bug when he stood in front of a panel of judges at the Innovations Den and won the award on Thursday.
“There’s no right or wrong answer with farming, there’s so many possibilities and so many different variables that affect the outcome and there’s always room for improvement so I like that. “You’re always thinking of ways to improve something and I also like the lifestyle, especially moving forward it’s a great lifestyle for kids to grow up on the farm. I wouldn’t want to grow up anywhere else.” The bachelor competition receives mass media attention every year and for most of the boys it has been their hardest challenge yet. “I’m not used to having the camera in my face but it’s been really good to push yourself and get out there and to be fair I’ve probably grown a lot in the last four days as a person.” As for finding a partner, he hopes to find someone that can “live with a farmer and understands farming. They don’t have to be a farmer.” The winner will be announced at 12pm today at the Village Green. “Hopefully I can ride my new quad bike home when I win it,” Steegh said. 8
and a $5000 advertising package with Fairfax’s NZ Farmer. Te Pari Products won the Grassroots Innovation Award for the Electric Drench Gun.
“Oh, it’s been a long day,” said Patrick’s mum Angela. “On the way in this morning we had to pull over when Patrick was sick and this was before the innovations breakfast,” she explained. Despite being in the sickbay for most of the day, he returned this year with The Gudgeon Pro 5 in 1 as marketing product and presented to a panel of judges for the second time. Last year, he won best innovations pitch with the same product. “I’m just so proud of him. Being sick like that, other people would have pulled out, he also hasn’t been able to eat anything but he got up there and did his pitch and no one would have ever known,” said Angela. “He’s still quite green still, but we’re on our way home.” Rural marketing manager for Vodafone Darren Hooper presented the young inventor award, saying the New Zealand agricultural sector is the envy of the world. The winner of the Launch NZ Innovation Award was Plant Detection Systems Ltd with Andweeder, who were awarded $5000 cash
Patrick Roskam is now marketing his Gudgeon Pro 5 in 1.
Social media sells meat By David Nicoll / Photography by Evan Xiao The Carey family from Opunake are selling their meat all over the country thanks to social media and online shopping. Through their family-run business, Green Meadows Beef, they raise and butcher meat from their farm which they sell directly to customers online. From Mangonui to Waiheke Island, Bluff, Greymouth and even Franz Josef, customers around the country are buying their meat online. Nick Carey said they identified Twitter as a medium to connect with people who were interested in food.“Someone will see a post about dinner and then we can have an order within ten minutes from someone who’s seen that post. “So Twitter is really fantastic for us in terms of being able to show what we’re doing and also letting everyone see what other people are doing with our food.” Amy Oatridge with retired detector Quartz
TV dogs on show
Being transparent has also helped them to build a following, Carey said.
By Donna-Lee Biddle / Photography by Craig Richmond Quartz and Kendra are retired detectors and at 7 and 13 years respectively, the old dogs are practised stars. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) held an exhibition highlighting food security and safety at the annual Fieldays event. They lead stop pests eliminating eliminating Zealand.
a biosecurity system that works to entering the country, identifying and pests that arrive and managing or pests that are established in New
MPI canine manager Brett Hickman said detector dogs, handlers and inspectors are an integral part of the biosecurity system. “The dogs are used to detect items of quarantine concern, such as undeclared agricultural products such as food and plant products.” The New Zealand television show Border Patrol is based around the beagle breed and Quartz is mother to a young superstar named Watchman who regularly appears on the programme. The MPI’s Detector Dog Programme was established in 1995 and currently has 39 dogs. “Beagles make an excellent airport dog,” said
Carey said they attribute a lot of their success just to answering questions.“People have questions, we can answer them. We give them tips on how to cook with their products, where different cuts come from, educating them on eating different cuts rather than just eating steak.”
The National Dog Training Centre at Auckland International Airport trains pups from a year old.
“A lot of them are wanting to make informed choices about where their food comes from, like to know more about the products and also have that connection with the grower which is becoming more and more important, which often you can’t get from traditional retailers.
Hickman said world renowned trainer and dog handler Alan Wilcox is a master at what he does and is able to train the pups within nine months.
“People really react to connecting and obviously we’re a family business so we treat our Twitter scene as basically an extension of the family.
MPI have a puppy fostering programme and they need families in the Auckland area to provide rearing, socialisation and early training for each programme.
“It’s often tidbits of what the family is up to, what’s happening on the farm, what’s happening in our butchery and what’s happening with recipes and food in our kitchen as well.
The beagles operate at the five main airports in New Zealand, such as Auckland and Christchurch and various ports from Tauranga through to Whangarei.
“We’re really taking charge and it’s working well for us so far.”
quarantine inspector Amy Oatridge. “They’re lovely dogs.”
There is an adoption process in place for the detectors and they’re guaranteed to have a great life into retirement. “The dogs work for a few years and when they retire, their handler gets first option of adopting them, then the MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) team, then the third option is to adopt them out locally, but that hardly ever happens,” said Hickman. Michael Carey, Cate Duff and Nick Carey
The Fieldays Exhibitor
The C their m social
High expectations for food and drink stalls By Audrey Ellis / Photography by Michelle Corbett Hamilton café Hazel Hayes is excited to meet the pressure at their first Fieldays as they serve up a range of pies, sandwiches and sweets. Hazel Hayes has been catering to exhibitors since the week before Fieldays, arriving at 9.30am to provide lunches to workers and corporates during preparations for the events. Since Fieldays kicked off, Hazel Hayes workers have been arriving at 5am to fill farmers with their homemade beef and chicken pies. Hazel Hayes worker Rakshita Prakash said: “Our store is in Hamilton so if we are running low one of our staff members can bring more pies in.” Prakash says that while the pies are the punter’s choice, she would recommend the steak and salmon sandwiches. Volunteer Frank Sargent said that he expects a lot from the sandwiches for the price. “For $7 you would expect something pretty interesting, especially when you can go just down the road to Subway and get something quite big.” Exhibitor Brent Sinclair said he looks for speed when visiting stalls for food and drink. “If it’s fantastic, I’ll have to come back.”
Cameron Ferguson at the Evolution Cycles stand.
Rural transport’s latest Evolution By Lauren Barnard / Photography by Naomi Johnston. Cycling through the Waikato countryside is more popular than ever, according to a recent council survey, and Evolution Cycles is bringing the joy to Fieldays. Marketing manager Ben Pedley said it’s all about getting the idea out there. “Waikato riding is massively underrated; it’s great fun, and more and more people are discovering the great trails around. “Every road cyclist I’ve ever met rides rural roads. They provide a good challenge or a nice cruise depending on which direction you go in.” This is the second year Evolution Cycles have attended Fieldays, and they have already doubled their site size. Pedley said that while making sales is one of the main goals, the stand offers an forum for eventgoers to learn more about cycling in general. Rural cycling is a hot topic at the Waikato Regional Council, with senior transportation researcher Bridget Burdett calling recent survey results “useful” in determining policy and investment structure around country riding. Key stakeholders – including Bob’s Bikes owner Bob Puru, cycle race organiser Kevin Endres, and world champion cyclist Sarah Ulmer – were interviewed, and anonymous results gathered from 675 internet respondents.
Rakshita Prakash says that while the pies are the punter’s choice, she would recommend the steak and salmon sandwiches.
“Without exception, those interviewed were considered and balanced in their assessment of the risks and rewards presented by the opportunity to cycle on rural roads in the Waikato,” Burdett said. “Education efforts such as awareness projects
with bus and truck drivers, including the Fonterra programme for drivers about awareness of cyclists on rural roads, are considered particularly valuable. They improve safety by raising awareness among car and truck drivers of cycling risk on rural roads.” Pedley also reckoned that “the roads are getting safer for the roadies [road cyclists]”, with awareness from other road users on the increase. “If you keep left and wear a decent helmet, just in case, you will be fine.” As far as gear recommendations go, he said: “There is always going to be something that will improve a rider’s experience. “For riders in the Waikato and in general rural areas I have to suggest some good lights, they are lifesavers. It’s something that lots of people go cheaper on but a really good set of USB rechargeable lights will cut through the fog and keep you seen in the winding country roads.” Pedley said the Fieldays provide exposure for Evolution Cycles.
“The great thing about that is six months down the track, we get people coming in to our stores who saw our site at the Fieldays, and kept us top of mind for when they wanted to make a bike or bike related purchase.” Mid-range mountain bikes are perennially popular, “because people realise the value they’re getting”, but Evolution also offers some deals on accessories.
Off-road at Fieldays By Brad Roberts / Photography by Naomi Johnston Ford has one of the most expensive exhibitions at Fieldays this year and it’s set to thrill passengers and spectators alike with an off road driving experience. The Ford Ranger vs. The World Drive Experience is being held for the first time by Ford, staged to show off the capabilities of the Ford Ranger car series. “We [Ford NZ] laid some extra protective concrete because of the hundreds of times that the hill is being driven over and this is a first time for us and will be good for the spectators to see what our farming orientated trucks can do,” said Chris Masterson, marketing manager, Ford NZ. “Drivers show off the new technologies to passengers and how they work and how the car automatically adjusts with brake and cruise controls.” Professional drivers take turns at giving spectators a go at the off-road experience. “The biggest thing they [Ford NZ] wanted to show off is the weighting capabilities and to show that the door seals are really good when the Ford Rangers drive through the 800mm water lake,” said Jason Liefting, professional driver.
The Ranger is being put through its paces at Fieldays,
A mechanic, a taxi driver and a mini ark… By Bronwyn Llewellyn / Photography by Adam Edwards Taxi driver Allan Boysen and mechanic Johnny Davis are showing their green-tech “Mini Ark” at the Fieldays Innovation Centre this week. The pair of back shed Auckland inventors have developed a highly portable unit that utilises stream or river flow to convert hydro energy into electricity. “It sits in the river, you anchor it, it’s a type of boat that floats. The flow of the river will turn the paddles and the paddles generate 2,000 rpms that will run an alternator. That alternator, like your car alternator, will power your battery,” Boysen said. The battery then produces a consistent flow of electricity that has a large variety of applications, including powering electric 12 volt devices and appliances, including electric fences. The catalyst for the idea came after watching a documentary about tribal people living along the Amazon River. “Johnny and I sat down one day and tried to come up with where we could get an unlimited [energy] resource, and we thought the rivers could provide this. “It sat around in our heads until we could finance it. It took about a year to make it all up and a quick month to get it to Fieldays.” Timaru sheep and beef farmer Owen Batt said: “I’ve tried making them myself, but most of the
creeks that I’ve been in don’t have the flow. Even with water wheels, we still need a huge amount of water to get the sort of power that we require. I like this. This floats. The challenge is to make something run efficiently in low water conditions. “I think there’s still a lot of room for people working on the water [energy] generation side of things. There’s a lot of areas that can still be improved on. There’s got to be systems like this, simple systems. I like the double paddles as well. It’s double the horse power with the two sides.” Boyston and Davis had quite an adventure as they drove to Fieldays at 5.30am on Wednesday with their Mini Ark prototype. “We came from Paeroa. The weather had come in, the fog had come in, the sleet, the rain, and with visibility down to a metre. We ended up going over a roundabout, flying in mid-air with a trailer for about two seconds. But it was too late. We looked behind and there was nothing on the trailer. It had fallen off. We went out and collected it all in pieces, and this is the result. “It was just crazy, but we made it. We literally got rubber bands to put it together. But it’s here, and people can see for themselves that there’s something here. Our hope is someone might recognise the potential in it. We hope that investor comes by and can rescue us from our dilemma at the moment.”
Auckland inventors Allan Boysen and Johnny Davis have a vision to solve energy problems for many parts of the world.
The Fieldays Exhibitor
Running on wool By Genae Johns / Photography by Evan Xiau Four hundred hours of wear and the woollen running shoe still smells brand new. Andy Cooper, science impact leader for AgResearch Ltd, has been working hard on the development of the snazzy new woollen running shoe. The Wool Runner is created by Three Over Seven, working closely with the AgResearch team in Lincoln. The Wool Runner is all about having a woollen shoe specifically designed for sockless wear. The shoe is made from 100% New Zealand wool that controls odour, regulates temperature, repels water, wicks away moisture, and resists stains and dirt. It is machine washable.
Busing it to Fieldays for free By Jason Renes / Photography by Evan Xiao The first passengers of the free Fieldays bus service from Hamilton to Mystery Creek were dropped off right outside the gate on Wednesday morning.
“We were here last year with different products but with nothing as fascinating as this one,” Cooper said. “People think: wool and shoes, how does that work?” AgResearch was approached a couple of years back for a design that could work for the upper side of a shoe.
Kate Stokes was a passenger on the last morning run and was looking forward to taking her two pre-school aged children to their first Fieldays experience. “They are looking forward to seeing the tractors and any machinery. “They love [having] their gumboots on, mud, tractors and 4-wheel bikes.” Her children exclaimed with excitement when they looked out the bus windows and caught sight of the rows of tractors parked inside the showgrounds. Retired dairy farmer Iain Parris spoke about catching a restored JA-1275 steam train from Auckland to Hamilton for his last visit to Fieldays in 2009. “It was pretty full too, they brought the singing cowboy as well.” He was interested in the breeds arena but was also eager to try some of the food stalls as well. “I’ll always have a look at something new.” “I must admit the developments over the years are a bit beyond me, it’s a job to catch up but I’ll always usually find something of interest.” Dick Zinsli has driven the free Fieldays bus service every year since he started driving Hamilton City buses 30 years ago. He said it was a good change for drivers and gave them a chance to interact with passengers outside the normal urban runs. “You always have a lot of fun with the passengers, especially if they’re from Australia or somewhere like that. “They stay in town and you pick them up from the motel to bring them out and you have a bit of a joke with them.” The service runs every day of Fieldays. Fieldays ticket holders can hop on board from outside the Hamilton Transport Centre.
AgResearch’s Andy Cooper with the Wool Runner. “Now that’s a real technical challenge because you need something that is going to be comfortable, durable and at the same time water resistant,” said Cooper. On display this Fieldays they have a shoe that has been worn for 400 hours of running and has also been through a couple of wash cycles, and which still looks brand new and has no bad smell or wear and tear.
“400 hours of running and the woollen shoe still looks and smells as if it has just been pulled out of the box”.
Morning runs bringing passengers from Hamilton to Mystery Creek go from 8.30 to 10.30. Afternoon return trips to Hamilton start from 2.00 and go through to 5.15.
The shoe is a new market for a sector of New Zealand wool called mid-micron. “This is real success story for New Zealand wool and New Zealand science,” said Cooper.
Group raising awareness of rural domestic violence By David Nicoll Domestic violence group It’s Not OK has coordinated national resources for a Fieldays stand in an effort to raise awareness of domestic violence, especially in rural areas. The stand is a collaboration between domestic violence awareness groups from around the Waikato and New Zealand. Morrinsville Community House funding and finance manager Roslyn Nancekivell said the group would be sharing a tent with other support organisations and the police. An Auckland University study done by Janet Fanslow in 2004 found higher rates of partner abuse and child sexual abuse occurred in rural areas. Thirty nine percent of women in rural areas reported having been physically or sexually abused by their partner in their lifetime compared with 33% in urban areas. Sexual abuse of children in rural areas was also higher at 28% compared with 24% in urban areas. “We know that family violence can be harder to detect in rural areas and that victims can be trapped in isolated situations away from friends, family and services,” said It’s Not OK campaign manager Trish Green. “Fieldays provide a perfect opportunity to give visibility to this huge social problem and encourage people to talk about it and get help if they need it.” Nancekivell said they were working with Claire Castle from Violence-Free Waipa to collaborate with other networks around the country. “We’ve got resources from across the country, so it’s relevant to anyone no matter where they are from and we’re working with the It’s Not OK campaign as well, which has provided funding to allow us to do this.”
Ben Richmond shows Xero’s new Farming in the Cloud
Cloud farming floats into Fieldays By Brad Roberts / Photography by Nicola Kosovich Online accounting software company Xero has launched a new cloud based service at Fieldays to help improve accuracy of accounts and boost profitability for farmers. Together with partner Figured, Xero switched on Farming in the Cloud, which is a dedicated rural online accounting and farm management solution.
Nancekivell said that it is a way of raising community awareness and spreading the message to reduce incidents of family violence.
Ben Richmond, Xero rural strategy lead, said the service is totally cloud based and that Figured has been one of the best partnerships for Xero.
“Throughout the country there are different districts. We are Matamata/Piako and Claire is from Waipa, and agencies within those districts collaborate with the aim of reducing family violence.
“We [Xero] are excited to now have all our major rural supplier partnerships in place. Figured has been instrumental in taking Xero to the farming market,” said Richmond.
“Messages that Claire creates for Waipa are relevant to Waipa, but yet we are able to draw on the strength of the national campaign which is great.”
Farming in the Cloud enables farmers to track livestock, check balances, and lift profitability in real time.
Violence-Free Waipa co-ordinator Claire Castle said that they want people to be talking about it. “It’s such a huge event that we just thought it’s ideal to reach a lot of people.”
“Everyone can collaborate with it, such as the advisors and farmers and the cloud enables everyone to have a go and so they can track the farm plan and make changes when required,” said Richmond.
Apps are also a crucial part of what makes Xero, with RD1 joining Farming in the cloud as a partner. “We are excited to be partnering with Xero and look forward to further opportunities to work closely together,” said Jonathan Good, general manger of RD1. Receipt Bank is an app which helps with the keeping of invoices from leading farmer’s suppliers. Farmers just have to supply their email address to their suppliers and the invoices and receipts will be automated into their Xero account. Xero also has partnerships with Vodafone and Wireless nation to help increase internet usage in rural areas. “Around 400,000 people are signed up to the ultra fast broadband and we [Xero] believe that if farmers sign up to get rural broadband and get the cloud service it will change the way farms do business in the future,” said Richmond. Xero and Figured have trialled the software through 60 accounting firms and have done a nationwide roadshow involving 1000 farmers.
The Fieldays Exhibitor
Over the Moon for cheese By Alyson Eberle / Photography by Ashleigh Muir Cheese lovers have had a tangy treat this Fieldays with an award-winning cheese company showcasing their products. Over the Moon Cheese Company sources local ingredients and produces cheeses from four different type of milk: cow, goat, sheep, and bison (American buffalo.) Over the Moon started in late 2007 when Sue Arthur opened a factory in Putaruru. Arthur has been coming to Fieldays for the past six years to showcase her cheeses. “Fieldays is always the most successful show,” said Arthur. “We always are really busy.” Over the Moon and its sister company Runaway Spoon sell 35 different cheeses from their store in Putaruru as well as selling them to supermarkets and restaurants nationwide.
Sue Arthur and Sheryl Van Dyk at the Over the Moon stand surprised,” said vegetarian Andrew Forsythe. “I’m pretty stoked to add this [Over the Moon] to my shopping list.”
Along with being locally sourced, the cheeses are all vegetarian.
Cheese on display for tasting range from a garlic halloumi to different flavoured bries and their 2012 award winning Jersey Washed Rind.
“Honestly I wouldn’t have expected to find much vegetarian food on display at Fieldays besides donuts, but this year I have been happily
“Our most popular cheeses, regardless of season, is our O.M.G Triple Cream Brie and our Black Truffle Brie,” Arthur said.
The stall has had a constant flow of people tasting and buying cheese. “Who needs to spend money on lunch when you can sample this?” said Fieldays visitor Hamish Dorn. Over the Moon had almost 16 kilos of cheese tasted on opening day.
Dog team shoot hoops and skateboard By Mereana Austin / Photography by Luke Smeith It is not every day you see a dog shooting hoops, dancing and washing its feet - but you can at this year’s Fieldays.
“I like showing people the good side of dogs. What they can do if the time and effort is put in,” Marriner said.
Chelsea Marriner and her Dogmatic Trick Team are performing every day at the Village Green.
Marriner begins training her dogs from eight weeks old with simple tricks such as beg, roll over and play dead.
Dogmatic are a 10 dog team of multi-talented working border collies. “I have been working with dogs since I was two and a half years old when I took over Dad’s puppy that he bought home,” Marriner said. “When I was four I saw Wonder Dogs on TV and decided that I’d love to teach my dog to do cool stuff like that. “ Not only do Dogmatic perform but they compete in agility (the handler directs the dog through an obstacle course race), flygility (an obstacle course race that involves a ball), canine freestyle (a choreographed performance organised with music) and occasionally in the Sheep Dog Trials.
The dogs then progress to harder tricks such as stacking their food bowls. They are trained using positive reinforcement techniques with food and toys. Marriner said the dogs love to perform. “They love being the centre of attention - too much at times.” Fieldays was the first performance for Rip, 3 months old, and Sprint, 14 months old. Other highlights of Dogmatic’s performance include jumping through hoops, and skateboarding. Spy shows off her ballet dance to onlookers.
Awareness best defence against pest By Oliver Dunn / Photography by Ashleigh Muir The Queensland fruit fly, a major pest in Australia, is a constant threat to New Zealand’s horticulture industry. The insect eats a wide range of fruit and vegetables, costing huge amounts of money in treatment and loss of product. Debs Reidt and the Ministry of Primary Industries are at the front line of minimising the threat. “We work with all the government from different countries that import. Different countries have different control measures. “As soon as there is an outbreak in (Australia) we upgrade the precautionary levels.” Reidt, a quarantine inspector for MPI, said if the fruit fly established itself in New Zealand, the effect would be huge.
Debs Reidt is in charge of keeping pests like the Queensland fruit fly out of New Zealand.
“It would be really, really devastating. It would be sort of on the same path for horticulture as what foot and mouth would be for agriculture.”
With an exhibit at this year’s Fieldays, MPI hopes to raise awareness and assure the farming community it is doing everything it can.
Estimates put the potential loss at $820 million for New Zealand’s horticulture industry if the pest was established.
“I think having an awareness of the sorts of things that can happen if they don’t declare when they come through the airport and encouraging friends
and family when they come over to visit that they don’t have any fruit or anything like that,” Reidt said. “Also, letting people in agricultural and horticultural businesses know that we’re doing. That’s a big thing making sure that they know that we’re doing our darndest to keep them safe.”
Robotic milking innovation first in New Zealand By Donna-Lee Biddle / Photography by Craig Richmond GEA’s MIone is a beauty of a machine. The robotic milker is designed for efficiency and with the animals’ needs in mind. Marketing manager Nicky Bowden said it took three weeks to set up the exhibition for Fieldays. “We have it all. The cooling equipment is made in Hamilton, we also have routers and insemination products, such as the CowScout S and all the wellknown brands such as Milfos.” The robotic milking concept is over 30 years old but this MIone is unique in its design. It holds 3D cameras which detect the teat-cups and the teat, ensuring that attaching is both quick and secure. After the milking is done, the teats are cleaned and the animals are sent to replenish. Market support manager Dawn Neitzel knows the ins and outs of this machine. “It is currently set up to milk two cows but the MIone can milk up to five at a time.”
It’s part of the multi-box system that also safely removes and cleans the teats to avoid infection such as mastitis.
“It only takes 10 hours to produce. The manufacturer operates 24/7 and there is currently a three-month wait,” said Neitzel, “We expect to sell a few over the next few days.”
The production time of the MIone is impressive.
The Fieldays Exhibitor
Fashion in the Fieldays Check out what people are wearing at Mystery Creek. By Lisa McGee and Photography by Naomi Johnston
Kitted out in brand new gear that she bought this morning at Fieldays, Pene Gross, who has a lifestyle block in Auckland, is now prepared for the weather.
It is Gabriel Loh’s first time at Fieldays. He works for Datacom and is checking out what some of his clients are doing.
Even kids can be fashionable. Liam Miller, who is three, is with his family at Fieldays.
Tania and Winnie work at Fieldays and are in charge of rubbish control. When asked if they like the bright yellow jackets, they said: “They keep us dry.”
Michael Hall, who is an event executive for Fieldays, said his Swanndri cheesecutter hat “was good value.”
Latoya Heremaia who is helping at a friend’s stall is a bit out of her comfort zone. “I bought two other pairs of shoes, chucks and heels… just to be prepared.”
David and Penelope Foote have an exhibit selling cast iron wood stoves. Penelope bought her skirt from Fieldays a few years ago.
Talk about a revolution Modern farming requires a whole lot of technology as farmers turn to innovations such as the cloud storage system and smartphone technology to maximise productivity. By Don Rowe / Photography by Naomi Johnston
From her lounge window, Sarah Hockley can see her partner Matt herding cows in a distant paddock. Six-month-old Hayden-Grace lies on the floor, staring entranced at a closed laptop on the couch. Much like the farmer of old, Hayden-Grace cannot yet comprehend what she is seeing or its potential for revolutionising the art of farming. Sarah and Matt, however, can. In the good old days, the only electricity out the back paddock was powering the fence. Farmers today, however, are turning to innovations such as the cloud storage system and smartphone technology to maximise productivity. King Country contract milkers Matt Galbraith and Sarah Hockley believe it is crucial to stay up to date with the latest innovations. Galbraith realised the value of integrating technology into farming on a modern apprenticeship scheme a decade ago. “The scheme through the Agricultural ITO [now Primary ITO] was great,” says Galbraith. “We learned some of this technology 10 years ago. It definitely gave me an advantage. Once I had that on my CV, I handed it out and got job offers left, right and centre. Everybody realised you have to stay on the ball.” The couple milk 380 cows on a 126 hectare block near Otorohanga in the King Country. Like Galbraith, Hockley has also completed several papers through the Primary ITO. “It’s really good, the last paper I did was on Animal Husbandry and Care,” says Hockley. “You have to pay for it, but farmers are subsidised by the government.” Galbraith believes farmers have upskilled as a whole. “Kids used to leave school and go farming because they didn’t know how to do anything else. But now, with all the technology, you need to be able to play with computers,” says Galbraith. “You have to be an accountant as well,” adds Hockley. “You have to know all your finances because there are so many ways to get ripped off. .” Galbraith and Hockley use a computer program called Jensen to monitor and record things such as the mineral content of their paddocks and the growth level of grass.
Matt Galbraith says farm systems are going to have to change and it’s easy to get left behind. Measurements taken on the farm are fed via the keyboard in to the software which then plots and graphs the data for Sarah and Matt to analyse in great depth.
The technology, says Galbraith, is just an accessory to the person who uses it. More important is getting back in harmony with nature and letting cows be cows, whatever that entails.
Previous measurements can be utilised to spottrends and further streamline the farming process.
“There is no better substitute for what is out there in the paddocks. There is nothing manmade that compares to grass for nutritional value,”says Galbraith.
That modernisation creates a demand for companies such as the Livestock Improvement Corporation to create customised apps. “LIC have just launched a new brand where you can walk around with your iPhone and do your pasture covers,” says Galbraith, “And then as soon as you get in to a wi-fi area it instantly uploads to your computer. If you’ve previously uploaded a map, it’s got the whole coverage of your farm and everything is there so you can monitor it wherever you are.”
Hockley is also concerned about the effect the production of palm kernel, a popular cattle feed, has on the rainforests where it is produced. “That’s destroying the rainforest. It has a real effect on things like the orang-utans.” says Hockley, “Palm kernel comes from the same place as palm oil and there’s a lot of controversy because it’s just clearing the land”.
“You’ve always got to stay on the ball because of Fonterra. Fonterra are really clamping down and making things harder for farmers with regulations and protocol,” says Galbraith.
The couple’s use of technology like Jensen allow them to closely monitor the grass levels in their paddocks and ensures greater efficiency off the land, preventing the farm from becoming barren or making the purchase of cattle feed necessary. “If you’re accurately monitoring what the cows are leaving behind in the paddock, there should be no excuse for wastage,” says Galbraith.
“Farm systems are going to have to change and it’s real easy to get left behind.”
At the end of the day, like the cycles of the seasons, Galbraith believes farming will come full circle.
However bureaucratic requirements are not the only incentive for efficiently implementing technology.
“It’s back to basics. My dream is to have a selfsufficient farm, not a big one, but just get back to nature.”
Staying up to date with innovation and technology is important on several levels for the couple.
For Galbraith, it’s about using the tools available to get back to a sustainable model of farming.
The Fieldays Exhibitor
Simon Hardy and Yordie Van Dijk stand beneath the Chrysler Bridge they built.
Behind the scenes at Mystery Creek Mystery Creek is transformed in the buildup to the biggest agricultural show in the southern hemisphere. David Nicoll / Photography by Geoff Ridder
A month out from Fieldays, the large Mystery Creek exhibition centre sits nestled in green fields dissected by asphalt roads, old and new. It’s strikingly stark. It’s hard to imagine within the month an agri-town will spring up. But two days before Fieldays the marquee town in the making is a hive of activity. A flurry of empty trucks pass out, no doubt to return soon laden with goods. The first intersection is madness, a tractor crosses in front, then a quad bike swings through at a pace. A large sign advises: slow, stop, think. Inside the Makita tent stand stacks of drill cases equivalent to a person’s height. A man amongst the stacks of boxes is meticulously checking what appears to be an inventory of stock. It’s 7.10am in the morning as Yordie Van Dijk, of
Kraakman Builders, arrives on site to finish the job they were working on the night before, putting the final touches on a footbridge on the Chrysler site. They have built a four wheel drive track that surrounds the site, creating an island inhabited mostly by jeeps and a lone marquee. The footbridge crosses a deep trench carved in front of the site which will be filled with water - another obstacle in a series to showcase the vehicles and wow the customer. However, the look of the vehicles suggests they simply exist to deny the necessity of roads. This isn’t the kind of work Van Dijk normally does. “We usually do a lot of renovations, extensions, extension jobs, houses and that, so this is quite different, a big event like this.”
This isn’t his first time at Mystery Creek. “I’ve always been coming here. Thought it would be an experience to come out here and set up. Big though, big job.” Hamilton Party Hire director Nathan Rillstone says the company has been operating long term with Fieldays at Mystery Creek, since it was a much smaller affair. ”Mate, we’ve got staff here that have been involved in Fieldays for 20 years plus,” he says. “So we’ve got a very, very long history with the Fieldays, we’ve got a very long history with Mystery Creek. “Plus we have contracts with the Fieldays Society,
so anything that Mystery Creek themselves want, including most of the larger marquees out there, the big 30 by 70 lifestyle marquee, the Kiwi’s Best, innovations, all those big marquees that the society requires, we supply those as well.” Rillstone says it varies but they would have a crew of 20 or more. A typical day the week before the event involves erecting some of the later booked marquees, putting wooden and plastic flooring into the marquees, putting in panelling and lighting and putting in the finishing touches for the exhibitors come in on the weekend to set up. Rillstone says they have everything signed off on Monday but they always have Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon up their sleeves for any last minute problems. “If someone wants an extra trestle table or someone wants some extra chairs or someone wants a wall removed of their marquee or let’s say a panel’s fallen, all of those sort of unforeseen things happen at the last minute. “Because we can’t start building up there until the second week of May, the biggest challenge is literally, physically building the 100 plus marquees and sites within the time frame. There’s no other event we do in New Zealand that has the amount of marquee infrastructure to build in such a tight timeframe but we’re used to it, we’ve been doing it for a long time. “We always get it done, but that’s always the challenge every year.” Meanwhile, it takes thousands of cubic metres
of bark and sawdust for Showscape to meet its clients’ Fieldays needs. Showscape builds Fieldays outdoor exhibits for more than 300 clients.
“We do a lot of display gardens, a lot of site works stuff, we build demonstration areas, we build driving tracks we install a lot of banners, and we put down 5000 cubic metres of bark and sawdust and things, to act as ground covers for the sites,” says operations manager Kevin Wanless. In the days before Fieldays, Showscape has teams running around in trucks dropping off ground cover and raking bark, sawdust and forest floor mulch. “Then we bring in some decorative colours as well. Black wood chip, red wood chip and we’ve got blue coming as well. “Then we sort of work on over 300 sites, across the Fieldays, from putting pavers down and building some farm fencing and post and rail fencing, all sorts of things really. “So some of the more complex stuff we do the design for, some are simpler where they just might want simple paths and things like that.” At any time they might have 20 to 25 workers at Mystery Creek.
“The logistics of getting work done gets tighter and tighter as the site gets fuller. It’s just a matter of doing what you can to get the job finished.” Showscape begins preparing for the Fieldays early in the year. Many of its significant clients require long term planning to construct the sites they envision. “We come up with concepts and designs for them and we sort of plan throughout the year for some of the big clients or bigger projects. Then some of the smaller stuff we get onto closer to the time.” This year one of Showscape’s key sites is a driving track for the Ford Ranger ute. “It’s a big driving track. It’s going to have professional drivers that come down and they take people for rides. So it’s experiential stuff, showcasing the agility and just what it can do. Sort of up over a hill, down through water, up over some big logs. So we’ve brought in 90 tonnes of stone, we’ve brought in 450 or 500 cubic metres of sand to build a big 5 metre high mound at the back of the site, which the ute climbs up and down.Then we’ve got a trough as well, like a ford that it drives through.” These two businesses, Showscape and Hamilton Party Hire, are just two of many that help make the Fieldays run like the machine it is. These companies return every year, with their crews to rebuild the marquee city that exists for only one week of the year.The faces change but the game remains the same. Another Fieldays rolls around
Fred Kaad unloads boxes of Line 7 clothing from a truck.
The Fieldays Exhibitor
Meet the volunteers
No pay, pre-dawn starts, miserable weather, stress. Volunteers returning to Fieldays at Mystery Creek in 2014 are chomping at the bit to get into action. Written by Bronwyn Llewellyn / Photography by Michelle Corbett
National Fieldays held annually at the Mystery Creek Events Centre sees New Zealand punch far above its weight, hosting 140,000 plus people over four days. Provincial Waikato, remarkable only for its grass, becomes a veritable Mecca for agricultural pilgrims the world over, to come and pay homage at our muddied gumboot-clad feet. Amidst the hubbub of the AgArts competition, the glossy brochures, the smiles and speedily delivered sales-pitches, you might notice a bright-eyed sort of person – watchful, alert, quick-witted and everready to offer a helping hand. They’ll be unobtrusively moving through the thickening crowds, removing a trip hazard here, consoling a lost child or disoriented person there, calling for back-up on the RT or towing a car out of a boggy rain-sodden parking space. Ladies and gentlemen… I give you the Fieldays volunteer. Lance Enevoldsen started volunteering at Fieldays in the mid-1990s. The quietly-spoken Hamilton business owner is now the operations and logistics co-ordinator for Fieldays. He oversees parking and traffic, couriers, site services, property and water supply. In the mid-90s, Lance was a school-leaver who’d landed himself a job farming at Orini, out the back of Taupiri. “I was a member of Young Farmers. At the time, young farmers were involved in parking all the cars at Fieldays.”
Enevoldsen has kept coming back to volunteer ever since, for the last 20 years. “You just get drawn in. You think, ‘Hey this is quite exciting, quite full-on.’ You get to meet a lot of people. Come the end of the day you help a huge amount of people, so there’s that aspect as well, of helping. It’s all part of tying you in for the longer haul.” The volunteers don’t get perks directly, besides being fed and watered throughout the four days and having a sit down dinner together on the final night, Saturday. The first meal of the day is an early
“You’ve gotta be bloody quick and fast and slick around here to get volunteers, I tell you, and when you get good ones you keep them. And when someone comes and asks you about ‘such and such’ you say, ‘Hands off. He’s on my bloody team’.” breakfast, as many volunteers are on deck at 5am when exhibitors start arriving onsite. “The perks are in helping people, in working with others as a team. There’s an emotional connection, and the adrenalin. You’re mixing with a very diverse range of people in the Society of volunteers, including people in their 70’s or 80’s who were founders of the event.” Enevoldsen’s team oversees requirements at the “Bachelor Of The Year” camping area, from water supply to providing site guides and time-keepers for the duration of their stay at Mystery Creek.
“Anything they need operationally or logistically is available. The Bachelors are chaperoned by one of the long-term volunteers of the Society. Frank is with them from the start, to help them out with whatever they need and to make sure they get from one place to the next.” Frank Sargent is a part of Simon Kay’s site services team, which is overseen by Enevoldsen. “Simon is absolutely the lynch-pin in delivering Fieldays. I do what I can to make sure everything is available that he needs during Fieldays itself. From the first week in June, the ball is very much in his court. “My team for parking and traffic is run by Jason (Hoyle). As of that first week of June, full management is handed over to him as well. “I try to be as hands-off during the event as I possibly can.” Volunteers need to have a good tolerance for difficult situations. For example, working in traffic can be difficult as there can be quite a lot of aggression. “Managing that is very important.” Enevoldsen says it’s not only male drivers who give cause for concern. “We see more women driving with cell phones and really not paying attention to where they’re going. I have seen people [women] run over a row of 50 cones, being completely oblivious to it. “Around 15 years ago, someone lined me up and ran me over. I closed a gate, they [the driver]
“Lance has been awesome to me. I was real green when I was brought into this role. I used to ring him up and say, ‘You want a coffee?’ and I’d go round and pick his brains. This is my first year really of standing on my own two feet. I’m going to do a lot of ringing tonight because I’m still short of volunteers. We could do with a good boost of younger people, particularly to mix and mingle in areas such as the BIC and IT support.” “It’s the team leader’s job to get the appropriate people into the appropriate roles,” says Murphy. “One older guy on my team, Dave Wright from Te Aroha, we always meet with a hug and a kiss. That’s just the friendship we’ve formed through Fieldays.” “Being an older man who’d already done a few years out in car parking, Dave asked me if there was anywhere he could go to get out of the cold and rain. I said to Dave, ‘I’ve got the perfect job for you, working in the Pavilion on my team’.” Wright came on board six years ago. His background is in farming and he worked for over 30 years at the Waitoa Dairy Factory. He retired five years ago and loves to keep himself busy volunteering at events such as Fieldays, Equidays and the big cricket matches at Seddon Park in Hamilton. Wright has been involved in a number of roles at Fieldays over that six years including car parking, making site checks and that exhibitors were up with their regulations, running a survey of all the exhibitors in the pavilion, and reconnecting lost children with their parents.
Lance Enevoldsen has been volunteering for 20 years thought it should be open and ran me over. I didn’t have to go to hospital but I did end up having to do quite a bit of physio. I got rolled across the front corner of his car and off the windscreen. The police followed it up, so I just left it at that.” Enevoldsen says when people get out of their cars at Fieldays, they should note the colour of the poles in the car parks – red, yellow or blue. “That’s really helped reduce the numbers of people that get disoriented.” Team leaders are always looking for new volunteers. Guest services team leader Shirley Murphy says: “You’ve gotta be bloody quick and fast and slick around here to get volunteers, I tell you, and when you get good ones you keep them. And when someone comes and asks you about ‘such and such’ you say, ‘Hands off. He’s on my bloody team’.” The banter is fast and Enevoldsen’s polite attempts to interject is over-ridden by Murphy’s cheeky rebuffs. Smiles and chuckles all round. The mood settles again. Murphy started volunteering at Fieldays six years ago, following a recruitment drive over the radio and in the newspaper. She was originally part of the team that dropped off The Fieldays Exhibitor newspaper to the 1,000 site-holders at Fieldays.
Two years ago, the 130-plus volunteers were divided into three teams. This has hugely helped the smooth running of the Fieldays Volunteer Society, to the point of military precision. Murphy said: “I find the volunteers to help out in the AgArtwear and to meet and greet the audience as they come in. We cover the Kiwi’s Best cooking shows, site liaison and visitors’ liaison. I do site judging, large and small sites, indoor and outdoor, and the Best Premiere Feature Site judging. We also make sure that exhibitors don’t go outside their allotted area. Then there’s our own hub. I get staff to come in and do all the cooking, breakfast and lunch, for all the volunteers. That includes police, fire and so on. There’s around 200 people fed at each meal. ” Volunteers in guest services also help support visitors in the Business International Centre (BIC), run by Marcelo Mieres. This includes registrations, storage of personal belongings and orientation of visitors to the centre. The BIC looks after overseas guests, corporate groups and government officials from New Zealand and abroad. Visitors to the BIC come from as far afield as China, South America, Ireland and England.
“This one day, two little kids came up and the oldest one said, ‘Excuse me mister. We’re lost. Can you ring my mum?’ She pulled up her sleeve and the cell phone number was written up her arm in black vivid.” Wright phoned the children’s mother and pretty soon they were reunited. Wright recommends this to any parents who are bringing young children to Fieldays. He said there are usually a few kids that get lost. Mystery Creek Events Centre membership administrator Sierra Jenkins says there are over 130 volunteers for Fieldays in 2014. “Our volunteers are essential to the successful running of Fieldays; we simply could not make it happen without them. Some work behind the scenes - helping park cars from before 6am, running the courier vans, and assisting with any site build-up necessary, while some work on the front lines - hosting guests, exhibitors and clients. We have many different positions that the volunteers fill, and no matter their role, each and every one is very important to Fieldays. “We are very lucky to have such a dedicated group of volunteers, and their commitment and passion for the Society has helped us create the event we have today.”
“I like to make sure things are ticking over and running well,” Murphy said.
The Fieldays Exhibitor
Classic weather at Fieldays By Kingsley Field There were gumboots of all types, sturdy leather boots, the occasional tough-guy in soggy, squelchy jandals, and many of the ladies in a wide variety of sporting, smart or high-fashion footwear. Some of their gumboots were spectacularly colourful. As well, there was a wide assortment of rainwear – traditional oilskins, the second of third-generation synthetic fabric materials that purport to be breathable, waterproof, windproof, rip-proof, lightweight and several other good things; and there were waist-length or bib-fronted overtrousers; heavy-wool, fleece-lined bush shirts; pseudo military camo wear, capes and a raft of other coverings.
Old heads nodded sagely – it was, they said, “classic Fieldays’ weather”. And so it was, for the first two days at least. But those first two days are traditionally “farmers’ days”, so the farmers came dressed prepared for the wet and somewhat miserable weather, and they paid it little or no attention.
For many of them it was what they worked in all day, every day, so they just didn’t notice it at all. Gate numbers for Wednesday at the 2014 National Fieldays were down several thousand on the previous year, 21,000 as against 26,000 last year. The drop may be attributable to several things, but probably it was the weather more than anything – forecasters had predicted a major storm which was due to sweep across much of the country. The central North Island, which included the Mystery Creek Fieldays’ site, was well inside the general swathe, and drenching rain with high winds were on the way.
Early Wednesday saw the brunt of it slashing through, making a mess of a number of insecure tents and tearing loose signs, posters and flags. But not long after the public gates opened at 8am it eased, then cleared, and by noon it was jackets off and enjoy the sunshine. Thursday was rather a repeat, but it lingered on, sending sweeping showers across the huge tent town on several occasions during the day. Still the visiting farmers didn’t care. They did what they usually do – either pulled hoods up to stop the rain getting down their necks, or just got on with what they’d come to the Fieldays to do. They talked, they bought, they looked, they gathered business cards and brochures, and made mental or actual notes to call certain businesses later, when they wanted a product or service. Because Fieldays is not just about sales on the day. It’s a massive, international show-case that has huge knock-on effects for the rest of the year. And ultimately, that’s worth tens of millions of dollars to the nation.
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Published on Jun 13, 2014