Organisers have got exactly what they wanted in 'perfect' weather for the East Coast Farming Expo which opened at the Wairoa A&P Society Showgrounds yesterday.
Ironically, the sunshine which greeted more than 40 exhibitors who had arrived from throughout the country, came as the region moved into th 32nd anniversary of Cyclone Bola, the storm which devastated much of the North Island and savaged Wairoa and the East Coast on March 6-8, 1988.
A feature late yesterday was the Evening Muster, providing a chance for exhibitors and visitors to socialise and enjoy keynote speaker and rural broadcaster Sarah Perriam.
A full seminar programme is included today.
Another feature is the fleet of electric vehicles brought to the expo by sponsor Eastland Group for visitors to test drive. They include electric cars, a utility electric 2x2 vehicle by New Zealand's own UBCO, e-bikes and e-scooters.
The expo is industry specific, says director Dave Martin.
"If you are a Hawke's Bay or East Coast farmer wanting to keep your business moving, or an agricultural innovator wanting to spread your message, this event is perfect," he says.
He said yesterday: "We are extremely happy with the great start to the expo. Feedback has been extremely positive and the Expo's industry-specific sheep and beef nature has scored points, too."
He says exhibitors are excited about the event's future and there's a "real buzz" the expo is adding great value to the farming community.
"Comments have been pouring in supporting the event and it's great to hear all the feedback," he said. "The general feeling is that if those in the industry aren't attending, then they probably should."
Seminars kicked off with a full house to listen to Agrarian managing director St John Craner present his views on why red meat is the real deal.