The expo used money donated to the Rural Support Trust (RST) by the public and the 150 registered farmers received a fencing bundle made up of 100 posts, a box of staples, a box of insulators and some coils or wire.
Tararua Rural Support Trust co-ordinator Jane Tylee said it was a great “one-stop shop” for farmers.
“It was lovely, it was such a great day to be a part of, and it went really well,” she said.
Tylee had help from Nicky Allomes, Simon Hales, and Michelle Brown to organise and deliver the event.
The day worked efficiently with a drive-through-like experience, where farmers were given their fencing bundles and continued through to the second part of the event.
“We had to tell everybody to bring a trailer because it wouldn’t fit on the back of a little ute,” she said.
The expo was all about bringing together the farming community and offering up a token of help with the materials supplied while also providing the opportunity for support and a catch-up with mates.
“They had free coffee, free cake, free muffins for morning tea, or a free steak sandwich and water to drink. They could wander around and talk to all the rural professionals they wanted to,” she said.
Tylee said they had everybody there from banks, vets, Ministry for Primary Industries, Horizons Regional Council, and Ngāti Kahungunu who provided health checks.
In a bid to raise morale, the Tararua RST, which works under the umbrella of the East Coast Rural Support Trust, provided goodie bags that contained a $200 accommodation voucher, grocery vouchers, and chemist vouchers.
“We wanted to get farmers off the farm because everybody has been heads down, bums up, for such a long time,” she said.
Tylee said the goal was to provide farmers and their families with a “pick me up” heading into Christmas.
“Farmers could connect, they could get together and chat with their neighbour and chat with their friends. The vibe in the room was just so cool,” she said.
She hoped this would relieve pressure on farmers as the busy season approaches and it becomes harder to find the time to get into town to buy gear.
The Hawke’s Bay Silt Recovery Taskforce, a collaboration between Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Hastings District Council, worked to recycle 12,400 fence posts from orchards and vineyards severely damaged during the cyclone.
The posts have been distributed to rural communities up and down the East Coast including Ōtāne, Pōrangahau, Pākōwhai, Esk Valley, Tutira and Wairoa.
Michaela Gower joined Hawke’s Bay Today in 2023 and is based out of the Hastings newsroom. She covers Dannevirke and Hawke’s Bay news and has a love for sharing stories about farming and rural communities.