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Will there be enough Portaloos at Haldon?

The Mackenzie Branch of South Island High Country Section of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (SIHCC) is expecting in excess of 500 attendees at its biennial Field Day at Haldon Station in the MacKenzie country on Friday 14 March.

SIHCC Chair Jack Davis is pleased with the enthusiastic response to the field day. He accredits this to two factors.

“The Mackenzie branch, which is hosting this year’s Field Day, can be very proud of the hard work and skills of the organising Committee,” he says. Mr Davis also believes that the response is indicative of the thirst for knowledge of high country farmers and reflects a confidence in the future of High Country farming.

Field day speakers will cover issues including the management of Haldon Station, diversification into deer, irrigation systems, seizing opportunities and a vision for New Zealand agriculture.

“The fact we talking about irrigation illustrates how high country farming has developed in the last decade,” says Mr Davis.

“Our members are very business focused, and the concept of integrating larger scale irrigation into high country farming enterprises is a reasonably new innovation. Equally deer farming has evolved into a sophisticated and highly profitable diversification choice for high country farmers.

“Law changes such as the Crown Pastoral Land 1998 have opened up a range of options for High Country farmers in recent times. Many have taken the opportunities to expand or diversify their operations with remarkable success” he explains.

“But there may be one dark cloud on the horizon. As we discuss our vision for New Zealand agriculture, the Government’s land access review will be foremost in the minds of our members. Secure property rights are essential if landowners are to have the confidence to invest in their business and thereby maintain their contribution to the ongoing well being of the country.”

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