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Farm Open Day 2015

Posted by Rosie Petrowski on 30 September 2015

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The Annual Lincoln University Dairy Farm Open Day 2015!

What’s the connection between those rays of sunlight and the cheese on your cracker? What’s the soil got to do with your yoghurt? How does rainfall affect your flat white? The answer to these questions is, well, quite a bit!

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On Friday 20 and Saturday 21 November 2015, the Lincoln University Dairy Farm (LUDF) will again open its gates to the Canterbury public to showcase the operations of a commercial dairy farm, where visitors get an opportunity to ‘get up close’ and learn about the transformation of ‘sunshine into food’. Canterbury secondary schools will be invited to attend on Friday (from 12.30-2.45pm), and on Saturday (from 1-4pm) will be the main event for everyone else.

Why not come along and take a closer look into the fascinating aspects of the dairy industry and the multifaceted factors that turn ‘sunshine into food’ from those industry professionals, scientists and farmers at the heart of it.

Through displays and demonstrations, visitors will be able to learn about the complex world of modern dairy farming and the global dairy industry as a whole: the science, the technology, the logistics, and the business of New Zealand’s largest export earner.

There’s a lot to it! Which also means there’s lots of opportunity for new developments and improvements, and, of course, a range of career opportunities – Soil Scientists, Pasture Managers, Food Technicians, Supply Chain Managers, Marketers, and, naturally, the Farmer (the list goes on) – all needed, all necessary.

Bring your gumboots and your questions and we look forward to seeing you there!

Admission: no charge

Farm Open Day 2015 is hosted by the South Island Dairying Development Centre (SIDDC) and Fonterra. With additional support from various other sponsors including:

  • Fonterra (Principal Sponsor)
  • SIDE (South Island Dairy Event)
  • Lincoln University
  • Rabobank
  • Irrigation NZ
  • ECAN

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Programme for the Day

This year our theme is ‘Sunshine into Food’, ‘Taking a Closer Look’. There will be a central marquee with information, displays, sponsors stands, dairy product sampling and giveaways (cheese, yoghurt, milk drinks, ice creams etc.), we will also have 8 outdoor ‘educational’ demonstrations/displays sites taking people on a journey through all the elements that turn sunshine into food:

  • soil and the natural environment
  • sustainability
  • water / irrigation
  • grass / feed
  • the perfect cow
  • technology
  • careers in the dairy industry
  • business and economics

At these outdoor stands we will have industry professionals, scientists and farmers passionately talking about and demonstrating, and putting into perspective what they do and what it all means at a level suitable for everyone to understand. 

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Schools Day - Friday, 20th November 2015

Invitations have now been sent out to all Canterbury Schools. We are aiming the event at year 9 and 10 pupils but anyone who has an interest in the dairy industry is welcome.

If you have not received an invitation and are keen for your school to be involved in the event please contact or  

Farm open day Schools

Quote from previous Farm Open Day

“The purpose of the day was to expose people to the transformation of ‘sunshine into food’ and answer some of their questions around the detail in the science and technology of producing milk on farm,” says Ron Pellow, Executive Director of SIDDC. 

The 630 cow Lincoln University Dairy Farm is operated by the South Island Dairying Development Centre (SIDDC) and is run as a fully-commercial demonstration farm, showcasing best practice dairy farming. SIDDC is itself a partnership between seven key New Zealand organisations involved in South Island dairying: Lincoln University, DairyNZ, Ravensdown, LIC, Plant & Food Research, AgResearch and SIDE. 

 “LUDF operates as both a demonstration farm for other farmers, and a commercial entity.  We also have the stated aim to increase productivity on the farm without increasing the overall environmental footprint.   This makes the information that comes out of SIDDC very relevant for farmers and the farm the perfect place to open up to the public to show them how it all works,” says Ron Pellow.

 Mr Pellow was pleased with the near 600 turn-out saying “this is the first time we have run our own Farm Open Day for the public of Christchurch.   We planned the day to appeal to people seeking more information so they may better understand how their food is produced and the industry as a whole.  We are very pleased with the numbers (of attendees) and will build on this year’s event to run an annual Farm Open Day.” 

Click here for photos from the day


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LU LUDF Open Day 2013 11 23 DSC9540

 LUDF Open Day 2014 11 22 DSC0053Schools soil pitGraham grass schools