It was a blokes day out when Robin and Geoff attended the Central District Field Days at Manfield Park, Feilding. As to be expected, exhibitors were generally aimed at farmers, with baling equipment, tractors, water troughs and the like on display. Bright shiny new cars were there to tempt the farmers who were not too affected by the recent recession, or perhaps they would like a new boat instead. With 542 exhibitor stands to peruse, it was a huge event, with something to interest everyone. The road that people were strolling along is in fact the race track of Manfield Park, which had seen it’s fair share of motor racing.
The company promoting roll bars for quad bikes had a very graphic stand, with “bodies” under two bikes. One had a roll bar fitted which kept the full weight off the victim, while the other was lying squashed and no doubt lifeless underneath his bike. With over 70,000 ATVs used extensively on farms throughout New Zealand, ATVs accidents are the single most common cause of work-related fatalities. Each year about 5 people lose their lives, and 850 are seriously injured in farming accidents, so installing a roll bar would make good sense.
The national excavators competition drew a good crowd as the operators went through their paces, making it look easy as they not only dug a large hole, but also had to complete various tasks.
The blokes wielding their chainsaws as they sculpt a hunk of wood into art also had plenty of people watching, with some of their sculptures were sporting Sold signs.
There were plenty of food stores dotted around the show, with everything from coffee, ice-cream, burgers, pop corn, whitebait fritters and hot dogs. Those in the know visited the large blue Fonterra tent to collect free cartons of flavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese sticks. Handy seats were provided to take the weight off weary legs and Robin and Geoff took advantage and sat down inside out of the hot sun to enjoy their freebies.
Going back to basics was the style of the timber caravan on display, reminiscent of the old style gypsy caravans. The timber is slotted together, and has a bed inside, and seats on the back porch. Marketed as a shed, bach, play house, sleep out, or storage solution, it is quite a novel idea.
Approximately 40,000 people were expected through the gates for the 3 day show. But the show closed several hours early on the last day due to increased wind and the worry that Cyclone Lusi would be bringing wind gusts up to 130kph. Better to be safe than sorry and get all those tents down.