Words by Richard Rennie
This year’s South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) is particularly welcome after the difficulties and cancellation last year due to the covid lockdown. Interest in the popular event is sharp, with a solid array of sponsors supporting an entertaining and informative range of speakers over the two day event.
As a “silver” sponsor Ruralco is proud to be playing its part in this year’s event for the first time which is due to be held at the Ashburton Event Centre from 22-23 of June.
To help delegates enjoy and celebrate the opportunity to meet after a long period of Zoom meetings and social distancing, Ruralco is naming sponsor of the Barn Dance at this year’s SIDE event.
To be held on the Tuesday evening at Trott’s Garden Pavilion, the evening promises to capture the fun of an old time barn dance, including line dancing, a mechanical bull riding competition, country and western dress and a “walk and fork” dinner.
SIDE sponsorship organiser Katrina Thomas says having Ruralco on board for the first time as a corporate sponsor is a refreshing new relationship, and one she hopes will extend to future SIDE events.
“And of course, it makes great sense having Ruralco sponsoring an event that is high profile in the Canterbury region.”
Ruralco CEO Rob Sharkie says it is a natural fit for Ruralco to support such a high profile, valued event on the rural calendar, right in the co-operative’s main patch.
“SIDE has always provided valuable, useful information to farmers who come from near and far, and it is great to be part of it,” he says.
Run by farmers for famers, the SIDE has consistently delivered a top-quality line up of speakers who are engaged with the dairy sector, covering all aspects of management, staffing, technology, and finance. The focus is on providing insights that can be taken back home and easily applied to attendees’ dairy businesses.
This year’s event has been constructed around five pillars- environment, business, people and cows, and grass. It is structured with workshops delegates can engage in over the course of the two days.
Guest speakers that will be drawing strong interest include psychiatrist, Dr Ceri Evans as the keynote speaker on day one.
A graduate of Otago University, Dr Evans is renowned for his mind modelling work used by people wanting to perform under pressure, and as diverse as professional sports people to executives, and includes working with the All Blacks to whom he has consulted for over 10 years.
He is also author of the well-known self-help book “Perform under pressure.”
Entrepreneur and inventor, Logan Williams who has been credited with three ground- breaking inventions including a method to turn “rock snot” algae into a useful product, is also speaking.
SIDE Chair, Andrew Slater says there is additional focus this year on group interaction, aiming to meet the SIDE 2021 mission statement “to equip farmers with knowledge, understanding, tools and motivation to lead to an ever-evolving dairy sector with pride, confidence and resilience.”
Farmers wanting to register for the SIDE event can do so on the SIDE website side.org.nz