Rural inventors out in force at Fieldays

RACHEL THOMAS
Last updated 10:07 11/06/2014
Mike McRoberts
MC: Mike McRoberts

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TV3 presenter Mike McRoberts is keen to see what savvy inventions Kiwi farmers produce at this year's Fieldays.

McRoberts will MC the Innovation Awards breakfast at Fieldays tomorrow morning.

Seeing simple yet innovative inventions were what he was looking forward to most - like those in the Grassroots category, which shows off prototypes and designs for nifty contraptions intended to improve farming business.

"The farming industry is so competitive - and so it should be. Farmers are a lot more savvy now and they have great business acumen."

It had been several years since he last attended Fieldays, he said, but he recently served as announcer at the Dairy Industry Awards dinner in Auckland.

"One of the guys at the Dairy Industry Awards came up with a way of GPS [tracking] effluent spray so it doesn't go into his water troughs - it's simple things like that and you kind of wonder why no one has come up with it before."

The Fieldays Innovation Competition celebrates New Zealand ingenuity by showcasing the latest innovations, backyard inventions and commercial improvements, with thousands of visitors eager to view the latest rural advancements.

In 2013, the competition had 75 entrants, who all had the option to pitch to investors in the inaugural Fieldays Innovation Den.

Young inventors also make an impressive showing, gaining recognition for imaginative backyard inventions.

Last year, Ayla Hutchinson was named Fieldays Young Inventor of the Year and also won the James & Wells IP Service Award with her Kindling Cracker innovation.

She has since taken her product to market and won Most Inspiring Individual at the New Zealand Innovator's Awards and the Rising Star Award at the BUY NZ Made People's Choice Awards.

That same year, Matamata youngster Patrick Roskam, then aged 12 years, won several awards for his Gudgeon Pro fencing system plus a personal invitation from Sir William Gallagher for an internship at Gallagher's Research and Development department.

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- Waikato Times

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