Behind the scenes Southern Field Days: A chat with President Steve Henderson

Behind the scenes Southern Field Days: A chat with President Steve Henderson

The Southern Fieldays event officially kicks off on Wednesday in Waimumu and has been a highly anticipated event. 

With an impressive record-breaking number of 805 exhibitors and an estimated 30,000 attendees over three days, the episode captures the anticipation and excitement surrounding the event, especially after a four-year hiatus. 

Steve Henderson, the President of Southern Field Days, discusses the meticulous preparations and the resilience of the community in overcoming past uncertainties, a nod to the times when the pandemic cast doubt on the viability of such large gatherings. 

"The committee just gets in and gets it done," Henderson remarks, emphasising the dedication of those involved. 

He also touches upon the adaptability of the exhibitors.

"We never knew when we cancelled it in 2022 what the outcome would be this year-round, but yeah, it's come with open arms and everybody is pretty darn keen to get here." 

The conversation shifts to the sense of reunion and the eagerness of the public to reconnect with people they haven't seen since the last event, reinforcing the strong community bonds within the agricultural sector. 

"A lot of chat about that and, yeah, let's hope it comes for fruition," Steve says, illustrating the social significance of Southern Field Days. 

As for what attendees can expect, Henderson details a variety of attractions, including promotional offers from exhibitors, competitions like tractor pulling, and the speed shears event. 

He particularly highlights the innovation on display, with around 15 new agricultural advancements showcased. Henderson describes the diverse age range of innovators and the unpredictable journey of their creations. 

"Innovations is always a funny thing and, you know, some go gangbusters afterwards and some, you know, they'll innovate a bit more and then go gangbusters the next year." 

The episode also nods to the coincidence of Valentine's Day and National Lamb Day occurring during the event, with the latter expected to attract additional visitors. 

The importance of the historical first shipment of red meat from New Zealand is also acknowledged.

 "If it never happened, you wouldn't know what the agriculture sector looks like." 

This podcast episode paints a vivid picture of the Southern Field Days, capturing the blend of innovation, tradition, and community that characterizes the event and the agricultural community at large.

Listen to the full chat between Steve Henderson and Dominic George above.

To check out more episodes listen to the REX Podcast anytime on your favourite streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Rova or tune in to REX Mornings live on Magic from 5 am to 6 am every weekday.

Visit the Rural Exchange Facebook or Instagram page for more information and regular updates from the REX team.