Record crowd at AgInnovation

// Extension

This year's AgInnovation was a sell-out, with 250 farmers and rural professionals gathering to be inspired by the keynote speakers and attend the popular pick 'n' mix sessions.

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With the theme resilience in a changing landscape, this year’s event was described as the best yet by Western North Island Extension Manager Jason Griffin.

The conference was kicked off by keynote speaker Melissa Clark-Reynolds and Jason says Melissa gave a very thought provoking and futuristic presentation which really set the scene for the day.

“She gave us insight into what the future might look like and talked about the need for resilience.”

He says the theme of resilience was referencing how the red meat industry could spring-board off the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and future challenges and opportunities.

He says Logan Williams from NZ Merino was another inspirational speaker who talked about potential alternative uses for coarse wool.

“Logan has developed a wool-polymer mix that is pelletised and used for injection moulding of manufactured products. Current examples are the Yeti cooler box, and the exciting development of a catamaran that will soon be sailed across Cook Strait.”

Other speakers included Sophie and Sam Hurley from Honest Wolf, Steph Honey from Honey Consulting who talked about navigating a changing global environment and Mat Hocken from Grassmere Dairy who talked about the Rural Innovation Lab.

Jason says Gilbert Enoka, the mental skills coach for the All Blacks, was the final keynote speaker. He talked about performing under pressure and that ‘clear thinking is key’. You don’t have to be at your best all the time as this adds unnecessary pressure. To be your best identify the crucial moments so you can ‘be at your best when your best is needed’.

By showcasing some of the new innovations, tools and research that can help strengthen businesses and people, Jason says AgInnovation ran the whole gambit, from developing business resilience through to building personal resilience.

For those who couldn’t attend, the AgInnovation sessions were recorded and will soon be available online.