The 10th anniversary of national horticultural field days in Hawke's Bay is set to be bigger than ever.
For the first time it will be spread over two days, in order to pack in the volume of appealing events on offer.
Event manager for the Field Days Di Roadley said events from midday on Wednesday to the afternoon of Thursday would cover everything from aerial technology and its applications, to robotic harvesters, to how the education sector is preparing to support the horticulture sector into the future.
"Particularly here in Hawke's Bay, almost every business is in some way connected to horticulture," Roadley said.
"We think these are the most beneficial two days you can spend outside of your business – two days that will really add value to what you do."
The BNZ-sponsored event started life in 2009 as the Hawke's Bay Fruitgrower of the Year, then developed into Eastern Horticultural Field Days and finally, into what it is now a national event with a Hawke's Bay focus held at the A&P Showgrounds, Tomoana.
"Over the last two years it has doubled in size, and we have worked incredibly hard to create a series of events within the Field Days that are both learning and networking opportunities for businesses and their teams," Roadley said.
Wednesday begins with the Hawke's Bay Regional Council luncheon, featuring Pamū CEO Steve Carden as speaker.
"Steve is incredibly experienced in all aspects of farming and has an interesting take on the future of food," Roadley said.
"He'll offer his views on how horticulture can best approach a number of social, environmental and consumer considerations, as the nutrition revolution fast approaches."
There's a free ticketed event to follow – the Tech and Innovation Symposium features a raft of speakers from every corner of the industry.
"We'll see some great insight into the realities and challenges of T&G's much-lauded robotic apple picker, we'll discuss fully automated packhouses with Compac and the staggering impact it's had on businesses, and precision application of fertiliser by achieving less wastage and environmental benefits."
On Thursday, BNZ's chief economist Tony Alexander hosts a "Power Breakfast" from 7am, which is followed by Horticulture's Big Debate.
Catering for all events is provided, and tickets range from $20 to $25 each.
"This is our biggest Field Days yet and we're thrilled with the events on offer."
Tickets are available at Eventfinda.