Pedal power was to the fore at this year’s Southern Field Days near Gore.
While tractors were noisily huffing and puffing through the tractor pull, inventor Bill Blakie from Invercargill was quietly pedalling around the Waimumu field days site on his machine called the Veryeco.
The engineer built it to help overcome his crook hip. So far he has sold 40 which sell from $2500 to more than $5000 with a canopy which makes it look like a Popemobile. The electric bike, which looks more like a cart, has a 300-Watt 24-volt motor and a five-speed gearbox.
The 40,000 people through the gates over the three days was slightly down on the last field days in 2018.
Rurtec owner Ian Carr said business was “crazy” especially with the cordless handpieces with stock selling out. His lunch breaks were as late as 3.15pm.
“It is way ahead of Mystery Creek.”
It was a record crowd two years ago so field days chairman Warren Ross was pleased numbers were only slightly back this year.
He thought the turnout would be good after the flooding the previous week as a day off the farm would boost farmer morale.
“Everyone was happy, the committee, sponsors and exhibitors.”
It was the last field days as secretary for Sharon Paterson, who is the only
paid employee among the army of volunteers.
Paterson is going back to farming after four field days during which numerous buildings have been added including the agricentre and office.
A Beef + Lamb NZ initiative, Food & Fibre Discovery Challenge was a way for school pupils to check out the different career options at various sites around the field days. They had to visit sites for information to fill out the questions in a booklet. At least 70% of the sites had to be visited to be eligible for prizes.