Central District Field Days a welcome return to normalcy for the rural sector

Businesses from all over central North Island are happy to be back in front of the community in the biggest rural event since last year's lockdown.
Covid-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 Central District Field Days, and although the rural economy stayed strong despite the pandemic, meeting people face-to-face was sorely missed.

Angus Clarke from Precise DE said Field Days was big for attracting new customers, especially as their products were new to the industry.

The design company sold storage solutions, such as bladders that collected effluent without collecting any rain. Being at the event meant farmers could physically see how compact the products were and ask questions.


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Nutrinza general manager Matt Macfie said many farmers waited for Field Days to buy products because of the specials.

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Angus Clarke from Precise DE with their new bladder, which collects effluent without any rain water.

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The tradition was significant enough that last year they did a virtual Field Days by contacting their own customers and offering them the deals they would have had at the cancelled event.

C-Dax also had a virtual Field Days in 2020, but business development manager Gary Flutey said it was good to be back in person, especially after coming along for so many years.

He said his favourite part of the event was meeting with farmers, because they were pretty straight up and down. You know what you're dealing with.

Wilson Engineering's Glennis Wilson said that in the first hour alone, they had sold four of their waste-reducing animal feeders.

Although she said their business fared well during the pandemic because of the increase in online shopping, it couldnt beat an event dedicated to rural residents networking and looking for farming equipment.

Even businesses which weren't specific to the agricultural industry found Field Days valuable.

Clayton McNae from McNae Energy and Solar said that although Field Days attracted all sorts of punters, it was good for convincing rural people in particular to take time out of their busy lives and consider new technologies.

Farmers are pretty smart operators, he said. Theyll be looking at anything thats going to save them money. Anything that makes economic sense, theyll look at it... weve been here every year for the past eight, excluding last year.

Macfie sent photos of the crowds to colleagues in Ireland, who couldn't believe how the event was taking place. It reminded him of how people in other countries could barely leave their homes, let alone attend events of this scale.

We dont realise how lucky we are.

WARWICK SMITH/Stuff
Central Field Days is on at Manfeild racecourse in Feilding.

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