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Exploring behind the farm gate

A farmer shows how it’s done at the annual Farm Day last year.

Townies will get the chance to look beyond the farm gate this month.
Bay of Plenty Federated Farmers is organising a Farm Day on March 24 at the McLeod’s property – that’s 1189 Welcome Bay Road for farming newbies.

For rural folk, it’s the first farm on the right hand down the Te Puke end of Welcome Bay Road.

Bay of Plenty Federated Farmers is the only province in New Zealand that still holds a Farm Day event.

People from all walks of life, including many overseas tourists, enjoy coming out to where ‘town meets the country’, says Farm Day Co-ordinator Steve Bailey.

“Positive comments received and large crowds attending from previous years, has resulted in the continuance of this event,” he says.

The event is free, and helps people learn about how farms are run, where their milk comes from and various other projects relating to farming, Steve says.

“The rural sector is the base of the New Zealand economy, and it is important that everyone has an insight into the industry and its workings. Farm Day is run to encourage a larger scale of interest into agriculture from future generations.”

Farm Day sees volunteers and businesses providing information, activities and static displays that include shearing and drafting sheep, milking cows, feed supplies, fertiliser trucks, a range of farm animals, a milk tanker, tractors and more.

There will be lolly scrambles in a hay stack for children. Children who are 12-years-old and under can pick up a colouring competition form to enter and be in with a chance of winning a Warehouse voucher.

Fonterra will have some free drinks on site, and other organisations such as DairyNZ, Te Puke Young Farmers Club, local farmers and shearers will also be there to answer questions.

The Western Bay Museum will be on site for the first time, where visitors can see butter churning, rope making or even participate in milking the lifelike Daisy the shorthorn cow.

“This is a great day for all,” says Steve.

The day is sponsored by DairyNZ and Beef+Lamb. Rosie the cow will be at the farm for those who want photos and to receive a bag full of useful information.

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