Back in 1968, Fieldays was conceived as a modest affair to bring town and country together and showcase rural life.
Today, it has grown in scale and scope to become the southern hemisphere’s largest agricultural event – the ultimate launch platform for cutting-edge rural technology and innovation.
The event kicks off again this month at Mystery Creek, Hamilton from June 12-15.
Among the more than 130,000 expected to attend will be will be Aqua Filter Rodney managing director Steve Reynolds.
Steve has been heading down to Fieldays for more than 20 years.
Part of the time, he will be manning Aqua Filter stands, demonstrating water filtration products aimed at the rural sector, particularly horticulture and lifestyle block owners.
But when he manages to get away, he especially likes to peruse the innovation marquee.
“It’s great to see what new ideas are coming through and see what the competition is up to,” he says.
Meanwhile, his son Jakob, 12, loves to check out the enormous tractors, harvesters and diggers.
Steve says these days Fieldays has broad appeal with many marquees devoted to displays that wouldn’t be out of place at a home expo.
He’s a particular fan of the Fieldays Kitchen Theatre, where top chefs show off their skills in preparing dishes featuring beef and lamb.
“That place is always packed,” he says.
Mahurangi Matters has a Fieldays double pass to give away to one lucky reader. To go in the draw, email email@example.com. Include your name and contact phone number. Competition closes on June 7.
What’s on at Fieldays …
Innovation Hub Start-up companies and backyard inventors rub shoulders with established businesses to show off their latest ideas to advance New Zealand agriculture. The Fieldays Innovation Awards aim to honour the best and brightest.
Rural Catch Eight rural singles will vie to become Fieldays Rural Catch of the Year, competing in daily challenges to test their skills on and off the farm. They aim to demonstrate that they are not only a good catch for romance, but also for any employer or business partner.
Fieldays Kitchen Theatre Celebrity chefs show off their talents, along with health and wellness presenters.
Festival of Logging An array of timber sport activities, including trials to determine who will represent New Zealand at the World Championships in Liverpool, England.
Tractor pull The boy racers of the farming world go head-to-head in battles demonstrating both tractor speed and pulling power.
Careers & Education Hub School students get the opportunity to interact with career-focused exhibitors.
Health Hub Visitors participate in a range of activities focused on rural mental health and wellbeing.
International Business Centre A relaxing environment to facilitate trade between New Zealand agribusinesses and international buyers.
National Excavator Competition The country’s top excavator operators complete a demanding course, testing their skill and precision.
Fencing Demonstrations by professional fencers showcase the latest techniques.
Ag Heritage Museum Buildings, artefacts, demonstrations and hands-on activities offering insight into New Zealand’s farming past.