Federated Farmers, with a 118-year history, knows a bit about enduring and remaining relevant, so its leaders and
members up and down the country are more than happy to congratulate Fieldays on its 50th anniversary milestone.
"They say 50 is the new 30, and Fieldays at Mystery Creek is certainly hitting its straps as a treasured and
forward-focused feature of New Zealand agriculture and the rural way of life," Federated Farmers President Katie Milne
The farming leaders and Waikato Racing Club members who organised the first national Fieldays at Hamilton’s Te Rapa
racecourse in 1969 probably never envisaged how far it would come. It was known as the Town and Country Fair initially,
and that mission of bringing urban and rural folk together "is as important as ever," Katie says.
"Now we’re into the third generation of Kiwis walking through the gates of Fieldays to be inspired by the latest primary
industry technologies, and the dogged determination and inventiveness of people who work the land, and agri-scientists,
who come up with the gadgets and solutions that ease workloads, and keep us near or at the top of the world in terms of
Katie says for many farming families Fieldays is a much anticipated social event, a chance to enjoy time away from the
pressures of work, to mix and mingle with neighbours and friends, and potentially find new ways of doing things on farm.
"The urban folk among the crowds of 120,000-plus will watch the fencing and tractor pull competitions, the excavator and
logging displays, and the innovation hub activities and get an insight into the diversity, sophistication and potential
of modern agriculture.
"What can be more important than growing quality food that the world needs, and earning New Zealand’s export dollars?
Who knows, some of those city kids will alter their study and career ambitions as a result," Katie says.
"So Happy Birthday Fieldays, and many happy returns."