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Public invited to ‘Farming in Drought’ Farm Days

Public invited to ‘Farming in Drought’ Farm Days
Special ‘Farming in Drought’ Farm Days will be held in Wellington (Sunday 17 March), Rotorua (Sunday 17 March) and Tauranga (Sunday 24 March).  Free and open to the public, they are intended to show how farmers and farms cope with drought.
“Given current drought conditions, we feel the public will want to know more about both how we and our farm animals cope,” says Jamie Falloon, Federated Farmers Wairarapa provincial president, whose province is likely to be declared in drought this week.
“Wellington’s Farm Day runs on Sunday 17 March between 10am and 3pm at the Battle Hill Farm Forest Park in Pauatahanui.  We are bringing in other types of farm animals so it is a great chance to meet farmers and have a family outing close to Wellington.
“Drought is a huge challenge to any farmer and because our province covers Wellington, we want to show our public what we do with everything from pasture right through to animal welfare,” Mr Falloon explained.
In Rotorua, which was declared to be in drought last week, Farm Day is also taking place on Sunday 17 March, 10am-3pm, on the farm of provincial president Neil Heather at 945 Paradise Valley Road.  The Heather farm is easily accessible from Rotorua.
“Given how tough things are for our members we thought hard about running Farm Day but that became the reason to go ahead with it,” adds Mr Heather, Federated Farmers Rotorua-Taupo provincial president.
“We want to show that farmers do have drought strategies and to be honest, it is a great opportunity to get our guys all together.  It is good to get them off farm even for a few hours so Farm Day will be as good for us, as it will be for the families attending.
“We hope visitors will not only have a lot of fun on Sunday, 17 March, but that they will talk to us about how we have helped to turn Lake Rotorua’s water quality right around too,” Mr Heather said.
The third Farm Day is takes place near Tauranga but is running on Sunday 24 March between 10am and 2pm.  The Bay of Plenty was declared to be in drought last week.
“Despite drought we are pleased to be at the Papamoa farm of Andrew and Robyn McLeod and Noel Marilyn.  Located at 1189 Welcome Bay Road in Papamoa, it is really close to Tauranga and Te Puke,” adds John Scrimgeour, Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty provincial president.
“I think all these Farm Days will be a unique experience for anyone attending one.  In previous years we have been blessed with green, but this year most farms are brown.
“Drought demands a totally different approach to farming and Farm Day is a great opportunity to share the highs and lows of our fantastic profession. 
“Of course there is a family fun emphasis at all events so if you can get to Wellington or Rotorua on Sunday, 17 March, or to our Papamoa Farm Day on the 24th, I think people will get some real insights into farming in drought,” Mr Scrimgeour concluded.
To find out more about Federated Farmers’ ‘Farming in Drought’ Farm Days, or to get directions, visit
Sunday 17 March 2013 (10am – 3pm):
§  Rotorua-Taupo - Heather and Barugh Heather and Neil Heather, 945 Paradise Valley Road, Rotorua.
§  Wellington - Greater Wellington Regional Council, Battle Hill Farm Forest Park, Paekakariki Hill Road, Pauatahanui.
Sunday 24 March 2013 (10am – 2pm):
§  Bay of Plenty - Andrew and Robyn McLeod and Noel Marilyn, 1189 Welcome Bay Road, Papamoa.


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