Topic: Fieldays

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Fieldays is the biggest farming event in New Zealand and is held every June at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton.

Fieldays from aboveThe idea of combining the Ruakura Farmers' Week and the Winter Show was suggested by Waikato farmer John Kneebone in 1966. The following October a committee was formed to put the suggestion in motion, and the National Field Days was born. There were three main aims: promotion of research and innovations, to unify town and country and to attract significant events and exhibitions from New Zealand and overseas. At first three weeks of events were planned, but it was decided this was too great an undertaking. The first NZ National Agricultural Field Days was held at Te Rapa racecourse on two days in June of 1969.

This site was not ideal, however, and so a new venue was sought. By 1971, 160 acres of farmland on Mystery Creek Road had been purchased. After a huge amount of work was done on the site, most of it by members of the committee, it has proved ideal. There was much debate about what to call the new venue - but no name was found that suited it better than Mystery Creek. The Mystery Creek Events Centre remains the venue for Fieldays and many other sporting and cultural events.

National Fieldays event has grown into the largest event of its kind in the Southern hemisphere, with over 1000 businesses selling 300 million dollars worth of products. Attractions ranging from dog and tractor trials to wearable art pull in over 130 000 visitors, with numbers increasing every year.

The 40th NZ National Agricultural Fieldays will be held this month. The theme of the event will be The Science of Farming.

At Hamilton City Libraries, we have programmes, ephemera, newspaper articles and books covering the development of this major Waikato event.


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Subject:agriculture and Fieldays