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SPECIAL ADVERTISING WRAP Big changes for 50th Fieldays event SOME BIG CHANGES ARE OCCURRING FOR JUNE’S 50TH NEW ZEALAND NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL FIELDAYS WHICH IS SHAPING UP AS THE BIGGEST EVER. Society chief executive Peter Nation says the response from agricultural businesses should make this year’s 50th Fieldays event the best yet with an unprecedented number of applications for sites. Peter says Fieldays has been overwhelmed with demand for the milestone event with 1000 exhibitors filling out 1400 sites on the 114ha property. Another 50 unlucky companies are on the waiting list as Fieldays utilises every blade of grass at its disposal. “We anticipated increased interest this year but what we have received has been massive, it’s totally exceeded our expectations,” says Peter. This year’s theme is the 'Future of Farming’ and will focus on agricultural trends and ideas, with the aim of starting a discussion on what farming’s future will look like for New Zealand. “As an event, Fieldays has always looked forward, so the theme – the future of farming – was very apt,” says Peter. There will be a focus on food production and nutrition, including “where food comes from,” and Peter says Fieldays is committed to “leading conversations” about important issues affecting rural communities and agricultural. Innovation has been a hallmark of Fieldays over the years so it’s no surprise that some significant tweaks are being made in such Some exciting changes will be in store for visitors when the opening day of the 50th Fieldays dawns on June 13. an important year. The renowned Rural Bachelors' event gets a major shake up, last year’s hugely successful Health Hub is developed further while a whole new cooking and food offering is provided with the new Kitchen Theatre. Meanwhile Fieldays’ new App is set to transform visitors’ ability to navigate their way around Mystery Creek and find exactly what and who they are looking for. Fieldays major event manager Lee Picken says one of the keys to Fieldays as an organisation is innovation. “Fieldays evolves year on year and we are always trying to create innovation within the event and looking at different ways to provide value for both our customer – the exhibitor – and the visitors that come to the site.” Last year’s Health Hub received a great response from visitors,” says Lee and among its achievements were the fact that medical staff identified in visitors 10 malignant melanomas which could then be treated. This year the focus is widened to health and wellbeing in recognition of the awareness of mental health issues associated with farming and rural isolation. Located in the Health and Wellbeing Hub, Fieldays Health and Wellbeing covers topics from cancer detection and treatment, rural mental health and wellbeing through to services that support our youth. “The programme is very much on a holistic approach looking as much at mental health as well as physical health and providing visitors a chance to have contact with organisations and people such as specialists they don’t normally have contact with.” One of the other features of the Health and Wellbeing Hub is the Barter Barber. Tauranga barber Sam Dowdall travels New Zealand in his van providing barbering services for barter. Says Lee: “His whole concept is he goes to a lot of rural areas where people don’t get to get off the farm very often, has a conversation while they are getting their hair cut and just checks to see they are okay. Continues next page New Zealand National Fieldays chief executive Peter Nation. www.fieldays.co.nz
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