Dairy farmers invited to join SIDE 2022 in Oamaru

A diverse range of keynote speakers and workshops will offer inspired thinking to help solve farming challenges at the South Island’s largest dairy event – SIDE 2022, in Oamaru.

SIDE (South Island Dairy Event) will be held on June 8-9. It is run by farmers, for farmers, and chairperson Anna Wakelin said this year’s event theme is ‘dynamic’.

“As farmers, we are operating in a dynamic world and we always need to change and improve to stay on top of our game,” she said.

Craig Piggot

“To help farmers remain dynamic, SIDE 2022 is hosting a range of exciting speakers from different professions, who have innovative solutions to tough farming challenges.

“SIDE will also give farmers the opportunity to take part in a wide range of practical workshops, and to discover the latest dairy technology and research.”

Former Rocket Lab engineer Craig Piggott will share how he found solutions to help his dairy farmer parents reduce their working hours.

This search led him to launch Halter, a technology company that has developed a farming system that allows farmers to easily move and manage their herd through software.

Craig is the winner of the 2020 New Zealand Hi-Tech Young Achiever award.

42 Below vodka founders, Geoff Ross and Justine Ross, will share how they swapped life in Auckland for an Otago high country sheep farm.

Their property, Lake Hawea Station, was the first farm in New Zealand to have its carbon footprint certified. It is also carbon positive – and they will explain how this offers them a unique marketing advantage.

Tom Mulholland will talk about strategies farmers can use to maintain their physical and mental health in times of stress.

Mulholland spent 25 years in emergency medicine and eight years travelling around New Zealand with his pop-up medical clinic. His focus is on educating Kiwis on how to avoid preventable diseases and he has developed a wellness app to help people monitor and manage their health.

“SIDE is a great opportunity for farmers to get off-farm and network with other farmers. With exhibition space already sold out, we encourage farmers to register soon to avoid missing out on SIDE this year,” Wakelin said.

Farmers can also join four of 14 practical workshops on a wide range of topics from wintering to milk futures, reproduction, plantain, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

SIDE 2022 is being held for the first time in Oamaru. The event will be held at the Oamaru Opera House and the Brydone Hotel, with the dinner being Steampunk themed.

– By Pat Deavoll