A grey damp foggy Waikato morning and there are happy farmers waiting for the gates to open we when we arrive at 7.30am. We are at Fieldays® 2021 early, to put the final touches on our two display stands. Onfarm Solutions are in the Innovations Hub this year with our recently released Teatwand Stepover the in-race walkover teat sprayer and we are in the main pavilion with the Teatwand Exact as well as the Stepover.
Last year of course Fieldays® 2020 was cancelled, thanks very much Covid. The ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ adage applies, farmers have come in their droves. By 9.30 the sun had driven off the fog, jackets were slung over shoulders or tied around waists, the streets of Mystery Creek were shoulder to shoulder with gumboots and R M Williams check shirts. An hour later it bucketed down and sent everyone into the nearest pavilion or tent. The 35,000 people through the gates on the first day had come prepared, unphased by the on again off again weather.
Onfarm Solutions have exhibited at field day type events all over the world for 10 years or more, so you would think we would have it nailed by now, but there is always something. The banner ordered as a backdrop for our main stand did not turn up. The company commissioned to do the job had gone into receivership. Our regular printing company pulled out all the stops, found another company capable of such a large piece, the owner of the company ran an extra shift to get it done and personally drove the banner 2 hours to meet us halfway and by midday on the first day we had our banner gracing the back wall of our stand. We're thankful for that.
There is a benign police presence at Fieldays® 2021, a couple of friendly coppers wander past from time to time, they even have a big tractor decked out in police car colours complete with lights on the roof. Cute! But when you see half a dozen police with guns on their hips and a bunch of burly suits with unnatural bulges under their arms you can be sure there is something going on. Such extreme security can only mean one thing in NZ, the Prime Minister is not far away. This was the case when Jacinda power walked through the Innovations Tent pausing only for a photo opportunity here and there.
The day was nicely rounded off for the Onfarm Solutions team with an NZTE networking session, this involved a couple of drinks with fellow exporting people, a politician speaking about the importance of agritech to our economy and some yummy canapes.