From using microbes to remove excess nitrogen from land to transforming agricultural waste into a valuable commodity, University of Waikato researchers are at the leading edge of agricultural research - and many aspects of that research will be on show at the National Agricultural Fieldays from June 12 to 15.
Vice-chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says it should come as no surprise to see the university firmly committed to agricultural research and development.
"We are located in the heart of the most important agricultural region in the country," he says.
"The University of Waikato has developed enduring partnerships and research collaborations with leading agricultural organisations. Our students undertake internships with these organisations, and many go on to have very successful and rewarding careers with them."
Among the organisations the university works closely with are Fonterra, AgResearch, GNS Science, Landcare Research, Dairy NZ, the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regional councils, and several government departments.
The university has always been a strong supporter of Fieldays; its first vice-chancellor, Sir Don Llewellyn, was among the instigators of the hugely successful agricultural expo.
That support continues, with the university entering its seventh year as a strategic partner of Fieldays.
Crawford says Fieldays gives the university the opportunity to connect with the rural community and showcase research relevant to the agricultural sector.
A particular theme of the research at the university is sustainability of the agricultural sector. This covers all aspects of sustainability and the outcomes of the work are aimed at ensuring a strong future for the whole of New Zealand.
"While much of this research could not have been done outside the laboratory, it has implications for the agricultural sector and we need to make sure we are communicating that to the people who can benefit from the outcomes of our work," Crawford says.
"Fieldays also gives us the opportunity to catch up with friends, colleagues and alumni from all over New Zealand and around the world, many who make a point of visiting the university stand."
Crawford says the two organisations - Fieldays and the University of Waikato - provide nearly $1 billion to the Waikato economy each year and play important roles in ensuring the region remains at the forefront of agricultural innovation, development and research.