When SIAFD, which is held every second year, was first held in Motukarara in 1951, it was a one-day wonder that attracted around 1,000 people. By 2009 SIAFD, now held on the Lincoln University Farm, had grown into a three-day event attended by over 25,000 South Island farmers.
To mark such a significant anniversary this year’s committee has hired historian Roger Gilbert to write a commemorative book. New chairman of the organising committee, Killinchy farmer Hamish Maginness, is calling on past committee members to please make contact and is particularly keen to locate pictures of previous events
Hamish says he’s proud previous SIAFD committees have stuck to their roots over the years. “Our aim with field days has always been to promote ingenuity and innovation, and provide farmers with the opportunity to view side-by-side demonstrations so they can make informed choices before purchasing machinery and equipment.”
The 36 year-old became involved with SIAFD as an 18 year-old when, as a member of the Dunsandel Young Farmers' Club, he volunteered to act as a security guard overnight. He has previously represented the Tasman District in the Young Farmer of the Year competitions in 1998 and in 2004.
Hamish is married to Taryn and they have a 1 year-old daughter Kate. The Maginness’ 216 hectare farm has 900 breeding ewes and they grow cereals and small seeds.