Posted by: 347bennetrd | February 11, 2010

Southern Farm Field Days – Waimumu

Boy oh boy oh boy was I glad I didn’t have to get up at 5.15 this morning!  Yes, today Dad and I drove just south of Gore to attend the Southern Farm Field Days which is a huge, 3-day fair held biennially.

It was a lovely morning as we drove south through the rolling diary and sheep land of west Otago and northern Southland.  Dad was in raptures over the amount of feed and the general landscape.  In fact, on the way home he suggested I get out and take a photo (can be seen on my Photos page…)

This thing is huge.  Apparently not as big as the field day at Mystery Creek in Hamilton but it certainly impressed me…  They had little ‘street’ names and roads between all the stalls.  If there’s ever an event that shows the various spheres involved in agriculture in New Zealand, this is it.  And to top it all off there are heaps of competitions to enter and lots of stalls offering muffins, cups of tea, patties, bits of assorted meat and other edible goodies.

We called in at (among others);
– Taege drills, where for a cool $40k you can get yourself the latest drill combining seed and fertiliser with computer calculated distribution and sowing rates
– Rissington Breedline, where you can buy a top Red Angus bull
– Ravensdown fertiliser, where we had a discussion on the sustainability of phosphate and worldwide sources
– Kelso Contracting, but the guy Dad wanted wasn’t there
– CRT, who had sold us an above ground petrol tank which was missing a washer and wouldn’t pump (they found us the offending article and promised to replace the tank as soon as it was empty)
– Kaiapoi Distillery, who make a fine single malt whisky
– Electrodip, cos the jetting machine needs repairs
– Silver Fern Farms, to sample barbequed lamb, beef and venison for lunch – mmm…

Then we were both tired so we set off home.  We returned via some impressive tiny back gravel roads and called into see our hoggets (year old sheep) that we have had to fatten elsewhere because we are affected by a drought and don’t have enough grass.  We drove on up and were shown the two mobs (1200 sheep in all) and they were doing very well, munching away on an abundance of grass and looking very fat and contented.  A fizzy drink and ice cream in Gore – what a successful day!

Whilst at the field day we also wandered around the 2-hectare site trying to find the fencing competition as Marty was competing.  We trod a number of kilometres but had no luck.  We did however stumble across the tractor pulling competitions.  Yes that’s right.  One tractor pulls another tractor weighed down at front and back with heavy things and the competition is to see how far each competitor can pull it.  At first I was full of city scorn, but by the time I had watched two goes I was a total convert and couldn’t wait to see how far the next guy would make it…

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