Coast & Country News - June 2024 - Fieldays Liftout

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FIELDAYS ® Are you planning to improve your agricultural operation, or take on your next project? Dig into your research at Fieldays 2024 – the Southern Hemisphere’s
agricultural event.
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Photo: New Zealand National Fieldays Society.

Fieldays 2024: Lots to be about

A dairy industry leader believes farmers will go into this year’s Fieldays “quietly optimistic” about their future.

“ ey should have their chest half pu ed out,” says Federated Farmers’ Waikato dairy section chairman Matthew Zonderop. He says the dairy payout has clawed its way back, while the weather in the Waikato has been “very kind” during the past season. Matthew, who also chairs the Matamata branch

of Federated Farmers, will wear two hats at Fieldays 2024 – representing the provincial body and as a Te Poi sharemilker near Matamata.

He plans to attend two days of the annual Mystery Creek farming centrepiece, which runs from June 12 to 15, to “cover it all”.

e rst will be with family to have a “quick look around”, and the other manning the Waikato Federated Farmers’ stand. For the rst time, the provincial body is having its own space, with Federated Farmers New Zealand – which it usually joins –

having a separate presence in the Gallagher “tent” with the likes of Young Farmers and Rural Women.


On the Waikato stand, Matthew says they plan to tell visitors “what Federated Farmers is all about and what we do for farmers”.

A focus will be on the organisation’s lobbying of local and central government, and the Environment Court.

Matthew says Federated Farmers has made more than 50 submissions to these agencies during the past year. is includes the contentious Waikato Regional Council Plan Change 1 – now before the Environment Court – which seeks to reduce the amount of contaminants entering the Waikato and Waipa catchments.

At Fieldays, Matthew says the Federated Farmers’ stand will have information on this and other areas it has submitted on.

“We will show what it [the proposed Plan Change] looks like and what we pushed for.”

Matthew says “if you are not at the table then your voice is not heard”.

Advocacy on behalf of members is a key part of Federated Farmers’ role, he says. “It’s important to have network connections with the people at the top, one-on-one and face-to-face. Most farmers know what it’s about.”

e Waikato Federated Farmers’ stand at Fieldays will also have information on a remit led with the organisation’s National Council on legislation proposed by the previous government.

Matthew says this relates to “unintended consequences” of land use changes which would preclude conversion of land from goat/sheepmilking back to dairying if it has been used for commercial cropping in the interim.

While the proposed legislation is aimed at the long-term environmental impact of such conversions on the region, Matthew says it does not take into account the recent trend where goat and sheep-milking have “fallen over”.

Specialist people

Federated Farmers is also concerned about a recent Reserve Bank report which predicts longterm losses by the country’s biggest banks from agricultural loans due to climate change.

Based on modelling out to 2050 using extreme climate change scenarios, the report predicted higher loss rates for agricultural loans than for all other types of lending.

Dose all dogs with Praziquantel at least 48 hours before visiting the Maimai, to prevent sheep measles.

e “risk test” includes the impact on borrowers of more oods and droughts as well as increased costs to farmers from the pricing of carbon emissions, plus associated e ects on export markets.

e Reserve Bank report predicted higher loss rates for agricultural loans than for all other types

of lending. Matthew says the Waikato Federated Farmers’ stand at Fieldays will boast “specialist people” involved in the submission process. “We want to have more engagement with farmers who can come and talk to us. It’s about us being here for them.”

Matthew says the Waikato stand, with at least four representatives on board during each day of the Fieldays, will not cross over with the national site. e hope is to continue in this fashion in future years, as with the separate Dairy Expo held in Matamata earlier this year which Matthew says was a “huge success”.

He says Fieldays also gives Waikato Federated Farmers the opportunity to nurture connections with associated bodies such as the regional council, DairyNZ and LIC. “All the big players will be there.”

Matthew believes farms are run in a “corporate style” now. “ e investment is so big.”

As a sharemilker, Matthew says he will be interested in changes in farm technology promoted at Fieldays, such as pasture management tools and “wearables” like cow collars. He says Fieldays provides an important “day o -farm”. “It gives you an emotional boost and a psychological boost.”

Matthew says Fieldays also gives him an opportunity to “catch up with mates” from around the country.

Overall, he says farmers will “go along to learn”. ey will seek costings and quotes for new equipment and look out for any Fieldays’ “specials”. “It’s about buying what you need to have, not what’s just nice to have.”

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Find out more
Federated Farmers’ Waikato Dairy Section chair and Matamata branch chair Matthew Zonderop.

Forestry Hub returns

e Forestry Hub returns to Fieldays for its third consecutive year from June 12-15, showcasing how trees and wood are transforming New Zealand.

At site G80 visitors can explore more than 25 forestry-centric exhibits within the hub.

e forestry simulator is back again, immersing jobseekers into a virtual reality where they can experience what it’s like to operate machinery in a forest and explore the diverse range of careers the sector has to o er.

Other attractions will include displays of innovative uses of wood, forestry machinery, the latest in forestry robotics, and a roving tractor called GOVOR.

3D printed pinecones

hub. Topics will range from planting alternative and native tree species, predator-free initiatives, biodiversity within forests, wood processing and the burgeoning bioeconomy.

e 2024 Fieldays Forestry Hub is at site G80 from June 12-15 at Mystery Creek.

opportunity to raise awareness of the important role forestry and wood processing holds for future NZ. “Forestry and wood processing o ers so much value to rural communities,” says Elizabeth. “Our forests provide safe habitats for biodiversity, lessen the e ects of climate change, and generate important economic activity, including thousands of jobs.

Accelerate path

“ e emergence of wood-based biofuels and added-value wood products will accelerate that path to a more sustainable future.

“ ere is a lot to celebrate about our sector and Fieldays is the perfect opportunity to show the public how we are strengthening our nation’s future.”

Crown research institute Scion will be on-site demonstrating their 3D printer using forest-based biomaterials to print pinecones that visitors can take home. Visitors can speak with scientists about how they create renewable biomaterials and how these are turned into structures and objects using smart manufacturing processes.

Plenty will be on o er for families, too. Nature enthusiasts will be able to exercise their tree identi cation skills in the What Tree? Challenge; and children can take home a seedling.

A series of presentations across the four days will further enhance the learning experience of visitors to the

Visitors will get to speak to a range of representatives from small and large-scale forest growing companies, wood processors, farm foresters, scientists, and not-for-pro t groups, who will be in attendance to answer questions and provide more information on forestry and wood processing in NZ.

e Fieldays Forestry Hub has been an ongoing collaboration between Te Uru Rākau – NZ Forest Service, Forest Growers Levy Trust, Scion, NZ Farm Forestry Association, and the NZ Forest Owners Association since 2021.

Important role

Forest Growers Levy Trust chief executive Dr Elizabeth Heeg says the event is not just about the sector engaging with the community, it’s an

Te Uru Rākau – NZFS forestry engagement and advice director Alex Wilson says the sector is a key exporter for NZ and a major contributor to regional economies and employment.

“Forests are also important in our response to climate change and the transition to a lowemissions future…we are all really excited about the opportunity to have conversations with rural landowners about the many bene ts of planting trees on their land.”

Visit the 2024 Fieldays Forestry Hub at site G80 from June 12-15.

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Company’s extraction process to be on show

Foresta – an Australian ASX-listed company

– is embarking on a signi cant initiative in the Bay of Plenty.

e company’s latest venture involves the construction of a state-of-the-art torre ed black wood pellet plant in Kawerau.

is plant will not only produce 65,000 tonnes of pellets annually but will also integrate the extraction of high-value chemicals from renewable pine timber on-site, according to Foresta managing director Ray Mountfort.

“ e timing of this endeavour aligns strategically

with New Zealand’s progressive environmental policies. With the impending ban on new low-and mediumtemperature coal boilers, along with the phase-out of existing coal boilers by 2037, the demand for sustainable alternatives is on the rise.”

Seamless substitute

Foresta’s black pellets emerge as a seamless substitute for coal, o ering equivalent energy intensity while drastically reducing carbon emissions, says Ray.

“Furthermore, the plant’s operations extend beyond pellet production. By harnessing

natural pine-based chemicals such as rosins and terpenes, Foresta contributes to the shift away from petroleum-derived chemicals in various industries. ese sustainable alternatives nd applications in everyday products like avours, fragrances, chewing gum, paints, inks, and tires.”

Foresta’s commitment to sustainability is underscored by its secure 10-year wood supply agreement, a cornerstone for the planned manufacturing plant. “Partnering with PF Olsen, New Zealand’s largest forestry services company, Foresta ensures

Powering the future with sustainable biomass

Foresta utilises sustainable forestry resources to manufacture torrefied pellets and wood based chemicals as a replacement for coal and petrochemicals.

Whether you’re curious about the latest technology, a supplier, looking for a job or looking to invest, we look forward to meeting you.

a sustainable source of 150,000 tonnes of logs, stumps, and slash from Forest Stewardship Council-accredited forests.”

Immersive experience

Foresta will be exhibiting at Fieldays on June 12-15, located at site D66.

“Attendees can look forward to an immersive experience featuring live demonstrations of our innovative pine chemical extraction process and cuttingedge stump-pulling technology,” says Ray.

“Alongside a soap giveaway, crafted from pine chemicals. We extend a warm invitation to all visitors to join us at our booth and delve deeper into our mission to decarbonise the nation.”

Come and see us at Fieldays® to get involved. Site D66

See us in action with a LIVE demo of wood chemical extraction
out how we turn whole
even the stump!)
everyday products such as car tyres and cosmetics Pine
trees, (yes
Foresta’s black pellets are to be a seamless substitute for coal.

affair at agricultural contracting business

operator for around 10 years.

Younger brother Daniel, a member of the John Austin Ltd board, is a chartered accountant and works for Brandt Tractors in Canada.

e youngest member of the family rm is Hannah Austin, the contracting services and

marketing co-ordinator.

John Austin remains the CEO/ director of the company, while his wife Jackie is also involved on the board.

e company is regularly part of the Tractor Pull at Fieldays, with the “Green Army” (after their love for John Deere tractors and machinery), likely to boast a team of drivers at this year’s edition.

It’s a real family a air at Waikatobased agricultural contracting business John Austin Ltd.

Michael Austin, one of the managers of the Te Awamutu company, laughs that overall control of the operation may “skip a generation” from his father John to Michael’s daughter Indi, three.

As a 21-year-old, John Austin

founded the business in 1981 with one tractor and one combine harvester.

Specialising in maize (grain and silage) and grass (silage and hay),

John Austin Ltd has grown to around 60 sta during harvest seasons, running four forage crews and two combine crews.

Michael Austin took up the reins as manager after working full-time as an

Get ready for the jaunt to Fieldays!

Yes it’s June – and time to prepare to for the largest agricultural event in the Southern Hemisphere!

Fieldays 2024 is June 12-15 at Mystery Creek. Gates open Wednesday to Friday 8am-5pm and Saturday 8am-4pm. You can purchase tickets at the gate, or online at: https://tickets. eldays.

Here’s some tips to make your visit e cient and comfortable. Wear comfortable workboots or

sneakers as there’s lot of walking around the 144ha site. Take a backpack to carry pamphlets and free giveaways home safely. Don’t forget a water bottle to keep hydrated! Dress in layers – so you can peel them o if it warms up. Take your sunglasses too.

Download the Fieldays app from the Google Play store. Use this to map your way around, retrieve entry tickets for scanning, and to pin your car location when you arrive to help you nd it when you leave!

Michael Austin, a former winner of the Weight Transfer title, says it’s good fun for the team to be part of each year. “It’s a little bit of skill and a lot of luck.”

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Nikita and Michael, holding their daughter Indi Austin, Jackie and John Austin, next to youngest two children, Daniel Austin and Hannah Austin.
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Skyrocket your yields and soil quality!

Since 2006, New Zealand Humates director Fred Harvey has seen increasing interest from farmers and growers looking at humic products to improve soil biology and nutrient uptake.

Humates is a completely natural and organic substance, rich in carbon, humic and fulvic acids, says Fred, which is perfect for building up soil organic matter and is widely regarded by agronomists as one of the most important factors in building soil fertility.

Fred says humic material has the ability to assist natural fertiliser applications become more e cient and boost dry matter growth. It can assist in reducing and controlling the leaching of nutrients which are more readily held in the soil for uptake as the plant requires them.

“One of our most widely used products is our BioGro certi ed Fulvic Express Liquid. With an extremely high CEC of about 1400 which increases the bioactivity and transportation of chelated nutrients and minerals to the plant, it allows products such a seaweed and sh to

be better utilised in the soil.

“Another product is Nitrogen Express Liquid which has been designed to extend the life of the nitrogen and allows the nitrogen to be taken up more e ectively by the plant – perfect for those looking to reduce their nitrogen applications on the farm.”

e team at New Zealand Humates is looking forward to being back at Fieldays this year. Pop along to their stand and talk to one of their experts about how their range of products can help you achieve your farming goals.

Calf rearing in the 21st century can still be made simple, according to Tracey Simpson, owner of Homeopathic Farm

“Lots want to advise on methods, systems and new developments into what is actually a very basic skill to know.

“Rearing of young stock, as in good nutrition, says it all. And let’s think about that – good nutrition, age, stage and what they should be having as nature intended it,” says Tracey.

“Most of us who have been calf rearing for 20-plus years fully understand the basic requirements of calves, and what grows calves well.

“You cannot go past warm, clean, draught-proof pens. Or feeding of gold colostrum, then pooled colostrum and then whole milk for up to 10-12 weeks of age.”

Tracey says this is where homeopathy can be so helpful. “We have a great product that supports the calf’s

“It’s a combination product that helps with milk consistency changes that calves experience during their rst four to six weeks of life. It is so basic to administer and has good results.”

Tracey says the product works with the calf’s system to absorb the milk, and farm sta only need to administer it once-aday. “If the calf-rearer suspects a virus or bug within the pens, then again homeopathy can be very helpful.

“Management is also key, but we have some basic products to help you through the issue. Here at HFS we have a ve-day-a-week help desk – open from 8.30am-3.30pm – and two quali ed homeopaths ready to listen and support you through any animal

“We know calf rearing and we know our products well.”

Right: New Zealand Humates directors Julia U ndell and Fred Harvey. Photo: supplied.
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New generation AI-enabled trap on show

NZ Auto Traps is launching its new model trap – the AT520-AI – to add to their range of pest management traps at Fieldays on June 12-15 – and it’s worth a stop to have a look!

“We are excited to be launching our new model at the 2024 Fieldays – the AT520-AI,” says NZ Auto Traps operation manager Haydn Steel.

“ e AT520-AI is an intelligent AI-enabled, auto re-setting and re-luring pest trap with remote monitoring. e AT520-AI trap targets speci c pests for smarter predator control and monitoring. is unit has had several years of development, and we are now excited to be releasing this model for general sales along with our presence at the 2024 Fieldays.”

from its factory and research and development base in Whakatāne since 2016 and has more than 20,000 traps in the eld helping Aotearoa towards Predator Free 2050.

“Our traps have been well received by customers here in New Zealand and internationally, enjoying the many bene ts of our product. E ective in the control of mice, rats, possums, feral cats and mustelids such as stoats, weasels and ferrets, our range of automatic traps are the preferred trapping device for many groups.

NZ Auto Traps is sub-leasing a site at Fieldays with Predator Free 2050, and is a nalist in this year’s Fieldays Innovation Award for this revolutionary AT520-AI.

e new AT520-AI.

“ is is the rst trap that incorporates YarnNode AI, a camera and an Information Management System. In real time, target species are identi ed to engage the trap, while protecting native species as the AT520-AI is not engaged when they interact with the trap.”

Automatic resetting

As with all NZAT traps, Haydn says the AT520-AI is automatic resetting and re-luring to increase kill rates. “Fresh lure is dispensed automatically at customisable rates, creating a lure-trail that is highly e ective at attracting pests to the trap. Together with remote monitoring and reporting, signi cant labour and cost savings are being achieved in projects that began trialling the AT520-AI in September 2022.” NZAT has been manufacturing their range of traps


“Our customers range from homeowners, lifestyle-blockers and farmers right through to the Department of Conservation and large iwi groups. Groups already nd our AT220 to be the most e ective due to its ‘multi-species’ aspect, as well as signi cant reduction in labour costs due to its ability to re-set and re-lure itself. “We are now excited to be releasing our next generation of automatic traps, now with signi cant tech improvements.”

is year NZAT has also announced the introduction of the AT230-ChipCheck trap. is is a multi-species, automatic resetting and reluring pest trap that helps protect domestic microchipped cats. e AT230-ChipCheck includes a microchip sensor that deactivates the trap when a microchipped animal – for example, a domestic cat – interacts with the AT230-ChipCheck.

“Similar to the highly e ective AT220 trap, these are multi-species traps that eliminate the need for di erent types of traps.”

Visit the NZ Auto Traps team at Fieldays 2024 at site no: RM110 and IN32.

From wastewater to clean water

Our ltration systems avoid that need and expense, transforming the waste product into clear, clean water which can be used for washing yards, vats etc.

“Similarly on dairy farms, Forsi ltration systems enable farmers to, for example, transform dirty water into clear drinking standard water which can be used for stock, washing yards etc.

Examples of the o -grid water ltration system.

A Matamata business has developed a water ltration system which transforms wastewater from a vineyard or dairy farm into drinking standard water.

Forsi Innovations’ ceramic water ltration systems enabling regional councils, industry, and farmers to achieve unheralded standards of water quality, from dirty and contaminated water sources.

“Forsi ltration systems o er a solution that is cost e ective and very energy e cient so the need for high kilowatt pumps is no longer needed.

“Our water lter systems are providing a wide range of industries with an ability to conserve water and meet – if not exceed –environmental standards.”

Formed in 2005 by Terry Hawes and his sons Craig and Darren, Forsi Innovations’ aim is to provide a solution to the growing demand to conserve water use.

Operations manager Craig Hawes says Forsi water ltration systems are in demand across a variety of industries for their ability to transform dirty water into clear, clean water which meets New Zealand’s drinking water standards.

“In the viticulture industry, for example, it is not uncommon for wineries to be faced with having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to dispose of wastewater into town sewer systems.


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Inspiration for your next shed build!

If you’re visiting Fieldays 2024, be sure to head on down to Site G49 to visit the team at Shed It for inspiration on your next shed build!

Shed It was founded in 2014 in the Waikato and through their success have expanded to building sheds, warehouses, habitable buildings, garages and more –nationwide.

ey can even supply your very own DIY shed for those who are handy on the end of a hammer!

Co-owned by three great blokes who have been friends for a long time, they bring a collective of 80 years’ building and construction experience to Shed It – which means you can be assured you will get the best advice when planning your next build. Being a solely independent operator, Shed It is not bound by some of the limitations

that other franchised businesses can face, and they really know how to ensure your build will be a hassle-free experience.

Council consents are all taken care of by the Shed It team and their onsite draughtsperson can create initial concepts right through to full working drawings, says Garth Derbyshire of Shed It.

“Whether you’re price-driven, would prefer a kit-set, need something outside of speci cations or want something aesthetic to suit your environment – the Shed It specialist team o er an unmatched service that will truly bring your vision to life.

“For those of you looking for a shed extension, re-roof or repairs – the team at Shed It have you covered there too. No job is too big or too small!”

To get a great feel of the Shed It team’s craftsmanship you can check out their work on their website:

Popular battery additive will be at Fieldays

“Every battery you buy and every battery you own is sulphated. Sulphation reduces charge holding capacity and corrodes internal lead plates, resulting in premature battery failure,” says Gerard Anselmi from Recharge Battery Additive.

“It was very nice to get a call from Rick Ashley of RJ Automotive in Katikati, Bay of Plenty, who said, and I quote: ‘Having owned and operated garages for the last 40 years, I believe I know a good product when I use one. I have used Recharge in batteries on many occasions with impressive results. From bringing them back to life, and as periodic cleansing every two years. My own vehicle has the original battery still going strong to this day at 19 years. is has been veri ed by two battery dealers. Recharge is an awesome product’.”

Gerard explains lead-acid batteries die prematurely from sulphation build-up. “A Recharge treatment will dissolve the lead sulphate build-up, turning those sulphur ions back into sulphuric acid holding electrons.

“It is a simple formula – treat batteries early, repeat every two to three years and keep them charged. e earlier you treat them, the less damage is done, and the longer they will go.”

Gerard and Debbie Anselmi will be at Fieldays again this year on site D-122 as usual – or you can purchase the two-litre online for $365. “It is far cheaper at the Fieldays, at $295 including GST, as there is no DG freight, so see us there,”

says Gerard.

“However we are doing a Fielday’s special on freight for the 2-Litre. We will deliver a two litre to your nearest service centre for $330, any business in town will do.

“ e two-litre treats 42 x N-70s or about 20 bigger truck batteries, so about $7 to treat an N-70zz.

Recharge is also available at some Farmlands stores but unfortunately, not all due to freight costs.”

“And yes, you can treat sealed batteries simply by drilling into each cell – treating and resealing with polyurethane windscreen sealant, is best.”

Gerard says Recharge is also great for deep cycle batteries. For more information, visit

Shed It company directors Alan Hockly, Garth Derbyshire and Giles Bayley. Photo: supplied.
MAXIMUM BATTERY PERFORMANCE Available at: MAXIMUM BATTERY PERFORMANCE SEE US AT THE FIELDAYS® SITE D122 Available at: MAXIMUM BATTERY PERFORMANCE SEE US AT THE FIELDAYS® SITE D122 A lot of people in our Recharge Conditioning Program get 10 years, or often more, out of their batteries. Just dose them when you buy them, treat them every two years and give them an overnight charge occasionally to eliminate the sulphation problem. Yes you can treat sealed batteries, simply drill into each cell, treat, charge and reseal with Sika-Flex Auto or a plastic bung. Battery Additive/Conditioner A lot of people in our Recharge Conditioning Program get 10 years, or often more, out of their batteries. Just dose them when you buy them, treat them every two years and give them an overnight charge occasionally to eliminate the sulphation problem. Yes you can treat sealed batteries, simply drill into each cell, treat, charge and reseal with Sika-Flex Auto or a plastic bung. Battery Additive/Conditioner A lot of people in our Recharge Conditioning Program get 10 years, or often more, out of their batteries. Just dose them when you buy them, treat them every two years and give them an overnight charge occasionally to eliminate the sulphation problem. Yes you can treat sealed batteries, simply drill into each cell, treat, charge and reseal with Sika-Flex Auto or a plastic bung. Battery Additive/Conditioner
Gerard and Debbie Anselmi from Recharge Battery Additive
will be at their Fieldays site D-122 as usual. Photo: supplied.

Family company grows alongside Fieldays

For a Matamata company with a global reach, Fieldays has become an almost unbroken annual pilgrimage to Mystery Creek.

Barring Covid-19 cancellations, Jobe Valves has had a presence at every Fieldays since the event began in 1969.

Founded in 1967 by Jim Jobe, the company’s signature product was originally developed as high- ow valves for use in dairy cattle drinking troughs.

With Jim’s sons David and Robin now at the helm, this has been extended to include many light industrial and process situations such

as evaporative cooling systems and high-pressure cleaning equipment.

Robin says although New Zealand remains a signi cant market, the majority of Jobe Valves’ production is exported via distributors to Australia, North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Just why Jim Jobe got involved with Fieldays from the outset is “lost in the mists of time,” says David. “Dad did a lot of shows when he rst started the business, and he knew a good thing when he saw it.”

e company did attend A&P shows in its early years, but David

says Fieldays gradually took over from the smaller events as it grew into a national show with global signi cance.

Lucky its local

“With Fieldays being the biggest and best ag show in NZ and the Southern Hemisphere, we’re lucky its local and so easy for us to exhibit at,” says David.

Due to its export sales, Jobe Valves regularly has sites at trade shows in Europe and the United States.

As an 11-12-year-old, David remembers going to Fieldays with his father when the new pavilion –now the Gallagher site – was built. “Fieldays was all about generating sales in the early days for dad.

“ at’s still the most important thing, but meeting farmers who use our products and getting feedback and giving advice faceto-face is invaluable and what keeps the business growing.”

David says last year the granddaughter of Jim Jobe’s rst boss, Keith Fisher, arrived on the site with her son. “It’s these unexpected meetings that make Fieldays special.”

Billed as the Town & Country Fair, the rst Fieldays was held at Te Rapa Racecourse in Hamilton. e NZ National Fieldays Society bought 114ha of land at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton, in 1971 and the event has been held there ever since


We specialise in high quality, mesh and PVC covers to suit trucks, trailers and farm bunkers. All of our covers can be easily operated from the ground using a silky smooth cable system, eliminating health and safety risks.



Starting with an outdoor site “when things were pretty rough and ready”, David says Jobe Valves moved into the pavilion at Mystery Creek for a few years. “ ere was a bit of bad weather so we went indoors.”

However, for the past ve years they have been back outside at Mystery Creek in a 6m x 12m tent.

“You get to see what’s going on,” says David.

Jobe Valves regularly has fourve people on deck at Fieldays, including David and Robin.

Robin says the product was “revolutionary” at the time of the rst Fieldays. “It lets water in quicker and is not so hard on the system.”

Farmers’ feedback

Highlighted this year will be the company’s trough valves, reservoir valves and water level indicators.

“ ey are the core of the business,” says Robin. Valve components are injection and blow-moulded.

Robin says it is great to go back to Fieldays year-after-year and catch up with farmers. “It’s where the rubber meets the road.”

Farmers are a source of new ideas and for potential enhancements to existing products, says Robin.

“It’s a big marketing event for us.”

Fieldays is also regularly attended by Jobe Valves’ overseas distributors.

“It is an international brand people are looking for,” says Robin.

Around 90 per cent of the company’s sales are o shore, used on dairy farms as well as sheep, beef, goat and chicken operations.

Jim Jobe

Jim Jobe came from humble beginnings, with his parents running a small dairy farm in the Kauaeranga Valley, near ames. He lived in the valley until he was 12 when his parents sold the farm

and moved to Hamilton.

After completing his education, Jim went to work in Ward St for MacEwans Machinery – now MacEwans Pumping Systems –which has its own origins dating back to 1896.

He left 21 years later and set up a dealership in Matamata, selling milking machines and water pumps on behalf of MacEwans. Working out of his father’s shed, Jim also developed swimming pool lters and found a niche in the market for a high- ow trough valve.

He went into partnership with Ron Peddie, but ultimately ventured out on his own with original premises in central Matamata. e next generation –family and valves – came on board when David and Robin joined the company in the 1980s.

Jobe Valves moved into existing premises on the industrial estate along Mangawhero Rd, on the outskirts of Matamata, in 1999.

A short shift was made to a purpose-built headquarters in Pepper St on the industrial estate in 2011. Jobe Valves employs about 20 sta .

FIELDAYS ® Page 10
e Jobe Valves’ site at Fieldays last year.

Rural advocacy hub at Fieldays

Fieldays and Federated Farmers are joining forces to establish a Rural Advocacy Hub at this year’s event at Mystery Creek.

Organisers say the Advocacy Hub will bring together New Zealand’s various rural organisations that champion farmers’ interests as “one team, under one roof, for the rst time”. ey say it will also serve as a central platform for rural communities’ concerns.

So far, there are almost a dozen exhibitors, including Federated Farmers, NZ Young Farmers, Groundswell, Rural Women NZ, Future Farmers NZ, and Farmers Weekly.

New Zealand National Fieldays Society chief executive Peter Nation says the hub will advance agriculture through education and collaboration.

“We know it’s incredibly tough out there this year. It’s never been more important for farmers to be heard and to have advocates amplifying their voices.”

Peter says Federated Farmers is a natural t to partner with and bring the hub to life.

Federated Farmers president Wayne Langford says the hub builds on the organisation’s vision to unite rural advocacy groups as one team supporting farmers.

“Farmers want to see the di erent advocacy groups who represent them working together constructively to get the best outcomes we can for our rural communities,” Wayne says.

“If we work as a team, with everyone playing in the right position, we can achieve a lot more for farmers than any one organisation can working alone.

“ is hub will bring all of those players together under one roof for the rst time and we look forward to continuing to build on the concept in future years.”

Located on site D70, in the Gallagher Building, the Hub is the newest edition to the suite of Fieldays Hubs.

Other hubs include Innovation, Careers & Education, Hauora Taiwhenua Health & Wellbeing, Forestry, Digital Futures and Sustainability. - e Country

FIELDAYS ® Page 11
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will be a Rural Advocacy Hub at this year’s Fieldays. Photo: Merle Cave.
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