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Innovation Park to Demonstrate Hi-Tech Farming

23 May 2006

Waikato Innovation Park to Demonstrate Hi-Tech Farming at Ruakura Farmers’ Day

Farmers attending AgResearch’s revived Ruakura Farmers’Day on 13 June will get the opportunity to experience hi-tech farming in action at the neighbouring Waikato Innovation Park.

Waikato Innovation Park Business Development Manager, Cedric Geffen, says the Park is instigating high-tech farming projects for the sheep, beef and dairy industries and the dairy project is the first off the blocks.

“The Waikato Innovation Park is playing a key role in the dairy industry by connecting the latest technologies on-farm to create the advantage of greater profits, productivity and environmental sustainability. We’ve developed a model farm at the high-performing dairy unit of David and Raewyn Bennett near Walton in the eastern Waikato. It is an ideal example of how on-farm advantages can be achieved through creation of an integrated farm management system.

“At the Ruakura Farmers’Day, we will unveil a new Farm Technology Lab that has a live feed to the Bennett’s farm, allowing lab visitors to view hi-tech farming in action. Farmers can also learn more about each technology used on the model farm by accessing computer kiosks set up in the lab,” says Mr Geffen.

Introduction to Traceability Technology

Courtesy of the Waikato Innovation Park, farmers attending the Ruakura event will each receive a Traceability information pack containing a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. Mr Geffen says the objective of this initiative is to create an interesting and informative way for farmers to learn about the advantages of using RFID technology on farm.

“Each farmers’ RFID tag will automatically activate kiosks at specific locations along the Traceability Intro Tour at AgResearch and the Park’s Farm Technology Lab.

“Farmers will get the opportunity to learn how they can use different technologies to make smart farming decisions and raise on-farm value. We are launching the Traceabilty Intro Tour at the Ruakura Farmers’ Day, which will continue on a much larger scale with 17 exhibitor sites and a bumper Prize Draw worth more than $10, 000 at National Fieldays at Mystery Creek, starting the following day,” explains Mr Geffen.

About Ruakura Farmers’Day

AgResearch is reviving the 50-year-old Ruakura Farmers’ Day, which started at the Crown Research Institute’s Hamilton campus in 1949. The day will consist of seminars aimed at saving or making farmers money and includes a visit to the Waikato Innovation Park.


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