Fieldays: Over 26,000 people make it to day one

Waiuku dairy farmer Stephen Roubos and his grandson Oliver Forbes-Roubos, 2, exploring the tractors at the Fieldays.
TOM LEE/FAIRFAX NZ

Waiuku dairy farmer Stephen Roubos and his grandson Oliver Forbes-Roubos, 2, exploring the tractors at the Fieldays.

Stephen Roubos​ is a lot happier this year compared to last year's Fieldays.

The Waiuku dairy farmer said the last two years were a worry with the downturn in milk prices.

But the pressure had eased this year with the payout, so he was out looking at the tractors with his two-year-old grandson, Oliver Forbes-Roubos.

Day one of Fieldays saw over 26,000 people come through the gates.
TOM LEE/FAIRFAX NZ

Day one of Fieldays saw over 26,000 people come through the gates.

"Oh, the tractor is more for Oliver. We don't need one, I just bought one," he said, laughing.

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Roubos said farmers generally seemed to be in better spirits.

"I think people are a lot happier because of the payout. I was worried, but now we can relax a bit."

Day One saw 26,140 people come through the gates for the agricultural event held at Hamilton's Mystery Creek.

First through the gates were two Australian beef farmers who came over especially for the Fieldays.

Chris Arbuthnot​ and Collin Olive, from McKay, Queensland were among the hundred punters lined up at 7.30am. 

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The pair, who farm around 1000 brahman cattle, flew in from Australia's east coast on Tuesday. They drove down from Huntly two hours before sunrise to get in early.

AGrowQuip, local dealer of John Deere, general manager Jon Eske also noticed a "massive" difference from last year.

"We've had lots of inquiries, a number of clients have done some research, and one came in and maybe finished the deal off at Fieldays."

He said the dairy payout has given farmers a bit more confidence and allowed them to plan ahead a bit more.  

"People are putting their confirmations in for September, October, for the start of the season. So that's a good sign."

New Zealand National Fieldays Society chief executive Peter Nation said the primary industries had also been strong.

"While the dairy sector payout is fantastic, the primary industries are also going extremely well with strong export sales."

He was pleased with the large crowds that came through the gates early on.

 Peter Nation's Top Tips to surviving Fieldays

PLAN YOUR TRIP

"It's a really big site, you won't see it all in a day," Nation said.

So download the Fieldays app, look at the map or check out the programmes.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE?

If you are only at Fieldays for a day, look for things that are of interest to you and mark them. 

"Don't get home and say, oh I wish I went there," Nation said. 

"There is something here for everyone - men, women, children, young and old."

FOOD

There is a vast number of food hubs, restaurants and drinking areas at Fieldays.

"Take time to sit down and have something to eat, drink, and find out where the wi-fi hot spots are."

ICONIC EVENTS

Go and check out Fielday's iconic events such as the tractor pull and the Rural Bachelor competition. 

This is what makes Fieldays, and a survey showed last year, they were the biggest visited sites. 

 - Stuff

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