The recently held Open Farms Day achieved its highest visitor turnout with 3,680 Kiwis stepping foot on a farm during the event last month.
Despite having the lowest number of hosts partly due to Cyclone Gabrielle, the event had a 35 percent lift in visitors compared to 2021.
Feedback from both visitors and hosts was positive; 93 percent of visitors said they would visit again next year and 87 percent of hosts said they would host again.
One of the event’s aims is to bridge the gap between urban and rural New Zealand.
By tracking perception change across the three events previously held, feedback showed a significant positive change in perception about farming.
“Visitors told us they feel more connected to farmers, feel more positive about the environmental sustainability of farming, think farming is more complicated than previously thought and are willing to pay more for sustainably grown food,” says Open Farms founder Daniel Eb.
“Getting people to experience a day on farm first-hand works.”
Supporting this initiative since its inception, B+LNZ is excited to see urban Kiwis interested in understanding NZ farming.
“The fact that less farms had more visitors than ever proves there’s a growing desire for people to understand where their food comes from,” says B+LNZ CEO Sam McIvor.
The largest event took place at Wellington sheep and beef station, Mangaroa Farms, with 400 visitors.
The Open Farms initiative gained a lot of media coverage including The Project, RNZ, Newstalk ZB, Newshub, NZ Herald, Farmers Weekly, Rural News and more.