Today is Farm Day when farmers open their gates to visitors to introduce, or reintroduce, urban people to country life and work.
“Farm Day is about getting folk who live in our towns and cities to come out to a farm to experience the animals, the crops and other features that make up New Zealand’s most important industry,” says Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers President.
“South Canterbury and the Bay of Plenty will be holding their Farm Days one week later on Sunday 20 March 2011.
“This is the third annual Federated Farmers Farm Day and farmers hope people and families will take the opportunity to get on the paddocks to discover just what we do. . .
New Zealand boasts some of the highest urbanisation rates in the world and Federated Farmers Farm Day 2011 is a chance for those that have never been to a farm to pull on gumboots and get an insight into a working farm
“When I talk to non-farmers, I’m continually struck by how many don’t understand what it takes to farm animals or grow crops. So instead of wondering how, come onto a farm to ask, see and learn.
“We’ve had incredible support from our staff and volunteers this year and each Farm Day is different. You can go 4×4 off-roading at the Auckland Farm Day to pony riding in the Bay of Plenty. In Nelson we’re focussing on wool, even alpacas, while Rotorua/Taupo is looking at the dairy side of things.
“Our farms have some wonderful scenery and some even back on to bush or coastal areas with great views.
“The Stewart Farm, hosting the Manawatu/Rangitikei Farm Day won the Horizon’s Regional Council’s Region Ballance Farm Environment Award in 2009 for sustainability that will be their focus on the day.
“Depending on the farm, we’re offering everything from sheep shearing and sheepdog demonstrations, through to talks by Fonterra, Fish and Game and a range of others. . .
“This is a great chance for anyone interested to have a face to face chat with the farmers and learn something about their trade. Who knows, hopefully some may be inspired enough to look at farming as a career choice,” Mr Nicolson concluded.
More information on Farm Day, including directions to participating farms can be found here.