This month’s inaugural New Zealand Dairy Expo is a grass-roots event in more ways than one.
The No.3 rugby ground at Matamata’s Bedford Park will be transformed into a dynamic dairying display area for the February 20-21 event.
Organiser Amanda Hodgson says 73 exhibitors have laid claim to all 100 sites at the traditional home of United Matamata Sports Club (UMS).
“Matamata is the heart of the Waikato. It’s super grass roots.”
She stresses that the Dairy Expo is not a hard-sell of agricultural equipment or involve any seminars/presentations.
“It’s showcasing what farmers need – weekly, monthly and yearly.”
Exhibitors cover a wide cross section of big and small businesses offering a range of goods and services related to the dairy industry.
This includes farm machinery suppliers, excavation contractors, effluent disposal and water supply specialists.
Added to this is dairy farm technology providers covering everything from milking to mating, including animal health and welfare.
Also on hand will be a number of advisors and farm consultants, plus feed suppliers and nutritionists.
“There will be a broad range. Farmers will be able to find out what’s hot and what’s not.”
With husband Matt, Amanda is co-owner/CEO of agricultural service provider Archway Group.
Running the NZ Dairy Expo is a bit different from “concrete wife life”, but Amanda Hodgson has a solid track record in event arrangement to call on.
She organised the annual Effluent and Environment Expo at Mystery Creek for several years but says that event effectively ended through Covid.
“It was hard to keep a focus on effluent.”
With greater use of feed-pads and associated technology, Amanda says it’s a “natural” progression to develop a New Zealand Dairy Expo.
Helping make the concept a reality was a component of the Gisborne A&P Show, which she and Matt attended last October.
On her return to the Bay of Plenty, Amanda “called a few people”, including farmers, who welcomed the idea of a Dairy Expo.
Going from effluent to dairy means “we get to keep it going”.
“There’s no better way to tackle it than to get farmers in a room (or on a rugby ground).”
Amanda says the first-time New Zealand Dairy Expo will deliberately be “super low key”.
Such events are needed in these challenging economic times, she says.
“It’s tough out there...really hard for companies to get in front of farmers.”
She says dairy farmers also need to be aware of advances in technology and innovation relating to their sector.
“At the expo they can come and find solutions to their problems.
“It’s all about collecting information and talking to the right people in the same room.”
WHAT: New Zealand Dairy Expo|
WHEN: February 20 and 21, 8.30am-3pm
WHERE: Bedford Park, Tainui Street, Matamata|
TICKETS (free): https://events.humanitix.com/nz-dairy-expo-matamata/tickets