With New Zealand boasting some of the highest urbanisation rates in the world, Federated Farmers Farm Day 2011 is a chance to pull on the gumboots and get out on the paddock on Sunday, 13 March 2011 (10am-3pm).

“This is the third annual Federated Farmers Farm Day and farmers hope people and families will take the opportunity to get onto the paddock to discover just what we farmers do,” says Don Nicolson, Federated Farmers President.

“Federated Farmers is focused on showing the fantastic work farmers do as well as revealing the technical aspects of modern farm management.

“When I talk to city folk, I’m continually struck by how many don’t understand what it takes to farm or work with animals or grow crops. There’s plenty of scope for misunderstanding so instead of wondering how, come onto a farm to ask, see and learn.

“Its been our hope that Farm Day will go some way to reconnect with our urban counterparts and to help educate where there is misunderstandings.

“Aside from the physical input our farming system is biological and that means we work with nature rather than against it. Farm Day is our chance to talk face to face and to show what we actually do. That includes the environmental stewardship of farmers.

“One of the big changes for 2011 is a concentration on a core group of main centres. Instead of trying to be everywhere, we’ve decided to invest more time and energy with urban New Zealand.

“It’s also our great hope to grow a school visits programme out of Federated Farmers Farm Day too.

“Some of our venues, like Rotorua/Taupo, will combine dairy with meat and fibre. That venue is surrounded by trout filled streams, being in Rotorua’s famous Paradise Valley Road.

“There will be an opportunity to not just learn about cheese and butter making but to try your hand at it too.

“At Auckland’s Farm Day in Papakura, we’re really hoping to have some dung beetles to showcase what these little critters could do out in the paddock. 4WD excursions will be used in Auckland to also illustrate the hard work farmers put into fencing as well as environmental management. It includes conservation by way of QEII National Trust covenants.

“With Otago’s Farm Day, Federated Farmers will be providing free bus transportation from Dunedin to make its farm as accessible as possible to everyone. Being held at Telford means a fine opportunity to discover what you need to become a farmer.

With New Zealand 86 percent urbanised Federated Farmers Farm Day is designed to bring farmers and non-farmers together at open farms. It is part fun, part educational but 100 percent based on the New Zealand Farm system. It provides people the chance to see for themselves with a lot of scope to ask questions of host farmers. Farm Day is a chance to go behind the scenes on Sunday, 13 March 2011 (10am and 3pm) at various locations around the country.

Go to http://www.farmday.org.nz/to find a Farm Day in your area.

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