The seminar is in its third year and continues to offer an informative afternoon of presentations on a range of subjects.
Last year’s National Fieldays event at Mystery Creek was the 46th, attracting nearly 120,000 visitors and around 900 exhibitors. As the major agri-business event in New Zealand, Fielday’s success is not measured solely in the number of clicks on the turnstiles or the number of exhibitor sites sold.

The real worth of Fieldays is in the value created for the exhibitors, as reflected in sales, and in the productivity gains that farmers create from buying those products and services. Such is the major finding of an economic impact report on last year’s event.

These benefits are on top of the significant flow-on effects to the region through increased demand for accommodation, hospitality, transport and employment.

The organisers want to build on these benefits and make Fieldays a global ‘go-to’ event, the agricultural equivalent of the Farnborough Airshow.

Leveraging New Zealand’s agribusiness expertise and in particular, our knack around innovation, is seen as the means to achieve that lofty goal.

Supporting that objective, this year’s Premier Feature theme, “Growing Our Capability in Agribusiness” challenges industry to shift it’s thinking more to opportunities in agriculture and focus more on creating agribusiness innovations. That is where New Zealand’s comparative advantage lies.

So it is good to see last year’s innovation, the Innovation Den, returning this year as part of the Innovation Centre.

And it is good to see a new development, the Innovation Accelerator venue, being launched this year.

The Innovation Accelerator recognises that exhibition stands at Fieldays can be a financially difficult proposition for many startup businesses. Sponsored by Callaghan Innovation, the Accelerator will house 10 companies that have already exhibited in the Fieldays’ Innovation Centre, providing them an opportunity to further commercialise and increase their exposure to domestic and international markets.

One part of the rural market that is difficult to reach but offers a huge opportunity is the lifestyle block owner.

SSS-2015_3678This is the target market of Franklin’s smallBlock Sunday Seminar, a low-key equivalent Field Day event for lifestyle block owners wanting to get more from their small blocks.

Supported by local company Customkit Buildings and organised by the Franklin Branch of the New Zealand Tree Crops Association, the Customkit Buildings smallBlock Sunday Seminar will be held on Sunday 21st June 2015 at the Puni School Hall.

The seminar is in its third year and continues to offer an informative afternoon of presentations on a range of subjects. These are supported by product displays from local rural suppliers and community groups such as the Franklin Bee Club.

There are four presentation, each 25 minutes long, covering a range of subjects relevant to existing or aspiring lifestyle block owners.

Interested in rural subdivision? Come to the smallBlock Sunday Seminar and listen to Dan from Madsen Lawrie Consultants talk about the pitfalls and opportunities of subdividing land in the former Franklin District.

Micky Cunningham from AgNZ returns to talk about building biodiversity on your land through organic and biological systems.

This is complemented by a presentation from Bill Sinclair from Pacific Biofert on non-chemical means for improving the productivity of your land or home garden.

And Lynda Hallinan returns for an informative and humorous discussion on matters of rural interest.

There is a $5 cover charge for non-Treecroppers which includes refreshments and the opportunity to mix and mingle both before and after the presentations.

If getting more from your small lifestyle block is what you want, then register your interest at www.smallblock.org.nz and join us on Sunday 21st June from 12 noon.