Annual farm day builds bridges


BAY of Plenty Federated Farmers is keeping a tradition alive as it holds its annual Farm Day event at Andrew and Robyn McLeod’s Te Puke dairy farm.

Event co-ordinator Steve Bailey said with BOPFF being the last provincial branch to hold Farm Day, the event had become a drawcard.

“People (come) from all walks of life, as well as many overseas tourists. Positive comments and large crowds attending from previous years has resulted in the continuance of this event,” he said.

Located at 1189 Welcome Bay Road, west of Te Puke, the McLeod farm is the first on the right-hand side at the Te Puke end of the road. The event runs from 10am to 2pm on March 18.

Mr Bailey said it was not only a free event, but it helped people learn where their milk comes from, how farms are run and other aspects of farming.

“The rural sector is the base of the New Zealand economy and it is important that everyone has an insight into the industry and its workings. Farm Day is run to encourage a larger scale of interest into agriculture for future generations,” he said.

He said with many returned Kiwis and new arrivals from other countries arriving, attending a Farm Day was an opportunity for these people to acquaint themselves with an important aspect of Kiwi life.

“There are so many people who have recently arrived in New Zealand who have never been on a farm. So, this is a good experience for anybody,” he said.

He said the event also helped to build bridges between urban misunderstanding of what really happens on a farm.

“This is an opportunity for people to come on a farm and see what farmers are really doing and maybe to dispel a few myths,” he said.

He said he hoped that people who attended the event were curious of how farms operate because there would be farmers on hand who would be happy to share their knowledge.

“Farmers are really proud of what we do, and we understand the privilege we have, but we have also worked hard to get where we are and we like to share what we know about cows and agriculture,” he said.

Farm Day will have volunteers and businesses providing information, activities and static displays including shearing and drafting sheep, milking cows, feed supplies, fertiliser trucks, a range of farm animals, a milk tanker, tractors and more.

There will also be lolly scrambles in a hay stack. Children aged up to 12 years can pick up a form to enter the colouring competition and be in to win a Warehouse voucher.

Fonterra will provide free drinks onsite. Other organisations such as DairyNZ, Te Puke Young Farmers Club, local farmers and shearers, will also be there to answer questions.

The Western Bay Museum will have people on site for the first time to teach butter churning and rope making.

Attendees can also test their cow-milking skills with the life-like Daisy, the shorthorn cow.