Reconnecting with farmers at Field Days
AgResearch staff on our winning 2010 stand at National Agricultural Fieldays, Mystery Creek.
AgResearch has returned in force to field days in the North and South Islands.
Six years ago some in the pastoral sector thought AgResearch had abandoned them. The return of AgResearch to having a major presence at significant field days reflects our commitment to engage with farmers, hear from them about their challenges and issues and work with them to find sustainable, efficient solutions. Field days are a great opportunity each year for our scientists to have face-to-face discussions with farmers about their grass-roots concerns and explain the research we are undertaking to support them in being internationally competitive and increasing their production and profits sustainably.
We have repeatedly been a Premier sponsor at National Fieldays at Mystery Creek, partnering with key organisations with whom we have close relations. These include The Liggins Institute, Environment Waikato and MAF. Last month (June 2010) AgResearch’s stand at this year’s Mystery Creek Field Days won Best Premier Feature Site Award. The largest picture opposite shows some of the many staff who helped make our exhibit a success on the winning stand. This isn’t our only achievement at National Fieldays though. The year we partnered with Agricom, we won the supreme award for making the greatest contribution to the spirit of the Fieldays. The photo on this page shows one of our former staff proudly holding the trophy.
When we returned to having a presence at the South Island Agricultural Field Days at Lincoln we won the supreme pavilion award for our clover cultivar and research display. At the Canterbury A&P show we launched the world’s first living grass ball gown and followed this up with an even more elaborate living grass garment and a full fashion parade of our revolutionary worldfirst wool textiles. These were novel ways of capturing stakeholder attention to highlight an underlying serious message – that our scientists are world leaders in clover, grass and textile research.
This year our theme at National Fieldays was ‘Keeping Farmers Farming’. Our scientists profiled work on nitrate mitigation, greenhouse gas research and sustainable farming. Without question, attending such significant pastoral sector events allows farmers and scientists to develop much better mutual understanding, leading to better research support for profitable, efficient production.
These engagements allow us to hear from farmers what they need from science and allow the pastoral sector to see first hand the results of our research and how it can help support them.