New Zealand National Fieldays Society, owner of the iconic Fieldays event in June, has a new partner in the form of Massey University.
The university and Society signed the three-year initial term agreement earlier this month, ahead of the first Society board meeting to be held offsite since incorporation. Fieldays celebrates its 50th anniversary this year during the 13-16 June event at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.
Nick Dromgool, GM Commercial for the Society, believes Massey University’s strong focus on the agricultural and health sectors makes it a strong partner for the Society and the Fieldays event.
“Fieldays has been bringing rural and urban audiences together for 50 years, and we are very pleased about this connection with Massey University. Fieldays is a truly New Zealand event and we feel Massey’s ethos of being an accessible university through its many campuses and its distance learning is an excellent fit.”
Massey University is well-known for agri-related study and research, and also has top equine, vet and food programmes. It has a strong focus on health and has many other unique schools within its campuses. The university was recently recognised in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, placing 22nd in the world’s universities for agriculture and forestry, and 23rd for veterinary science.
College of Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ray Geor says Massey is excited about connecting with the Society at a partnership level. “We are a strong supporter of Fieldays and have always had a large presence at the event. This year we are very pleased to be able to really cement that relationship,” he says.
“Fieldays is a premier event, recognised in world agribusiness,” adds Professor Geor. "It’s an excellent fit for Massey and our plans for the future. We often exhibit new technologies with our partners at Fieldays, and always enjoy talking to visitors about the benefit studying at Massey brings to the primary industries sector. We look forward to growing this important partnership between education and agriculture.”
Massey University will be a partner of the health and wellbeing programme that was successfully implemented at Fieldays in 2017.
The College of Health at Massey University is a member of the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand and wants to help ensure research-led education makes a difference to outcomes in New Zealand rural health.
“We look forward to working with Fieldays to be part of the community improving health and well-being in rural New Zealand,” says College of Health Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Mills. “Optimal health is the result of many factors including the individual person, the environment and society they live in. There are many opportunities to make a difference.”
Every year hundreds of thousands of people descend on Mystery Creek in June for Fieldays, from both urban and rural communities. Last year the four-day event generated $538 million in sales revenue for New Zealand firms and there has been unprecedented demand for sites at this year’s 50th anniversary event.
Ahead of the event in June, Fieldays will hit the road visiting several rural communities around the country, from south to north, telling the story of Fieldays history, hosting discussions and family events and encouraging communities to be part of the national event.
This year’s theme for Fieldays is the ‘future of farming’, with visitors and exhibitors being encouraged to start discussions around what the future of farming means to them.
PICTURED ABOVE: Massey University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Jan Thomas, signing an agreement with New Zealand National Fieldays Society CEO Peter Nation