SMASH Conference – Cambridge

In region: Waikato In category Conference

Something for everyone at SMASH conferences

SMASH (Smaller Milk and Supply Herds) has become well known in farming circles for its informative and topical events, but also for its friendly, community feel. It has another round of events coming up with its annual conferences due to kick off in mid-June in Northland, Taranaki and the Waikato.

Every year the conferences cover a wide range of topics and this year is no exception. Noldy Rust, the group’s chairman, is encouraging everyone to attend, “We are in the final stages of planning now and the program has really come together well, with heaps of opportunities for learning something new, whether it’s from our excellent speakers, or from other farmers.”

“The SMASH concept has been hugely successful in bringing people together to network, share and learn, and this year’s conference will no doubt be another great way that many of us can take a wee break from our busy schedules and get together for a day for fun, learning, sharing and last but not least, eating!”

The day, with a theme of “Farming with Vision”, kicks off with a different opening speaker in each location, with John Roche, from DairyNZ in Northland, Danny Donaghue, Massey University, in Taranaki, and Jason Minkhorst, Fonterra, in Cambridge.

They are followed up with an information packed day including Peter Kemp, from Massey University, speaking about the research being carried out at Massey’s No.1 dairy farm. This farm is being used as a test bed to trial a variety of methods for increasing profitability, while not degrading the environment.

Sarah Dirks, DairyNZ, will look at heifer management and how to get the best out of off farm grazing. She is going to lead a local farmer panel discussing the impact of undergrown youngstock, local challenges and management to grow animals well.

While, Marloes Levelink, an expert at reading cow behavioural signs, will show attendees how to interpret what cow signs mean so they can improve their stock sense, and increase cow longevity and productivity.

The day is going to end with a session from iconic Country Calendar presenter, Frank Torley.

Rust believes the conferences are not just about gaining information, “It’s a chance not only to learn, but also to celebrate farming and join together to support one another”.

The SMASH conferences will be held in Whangarei, Stratford and Cambridge on June 15th, 17th and 19th respectively. To register, please go to