Thank you to everyone who managed to make it to our conference in Hamilton this week, and everyone who contributed to making the event a success. We had a great time, and we hope you did too. With informative presentations from Dr Christine Jones, Dr Andrew Smith, Nic Conland, Jono Frew, Matt Gallagher and Philippa Jamieson, plus a visit from Katrina O’Connor to update us on the new Organic Standard, the first day was packed to bursting with knowledge. Our awesome sponsors were on hand for the day, lining the windows with bright banners and information. We were lucky to have chosen a lovely venue that delivered delicious food to us throughout the day (and lots of it) and those who stayed for dinner after the AGM were able to spend the evening catching up over a beer or two.
The second day took us out into the wider Waikato, visiting Zealong Organic Tea Estate and Gavin Fisher’s inspirational farm in two groups, split between buses and cars with a packed lunch to sustain us in the middle of the day. Thankfully, the weather was kind. We could have done with more time at each destination as there was so much to take in, but too soon it was time to wind our way back to homes scattered across Aotearoa with heads full of new information and interesting conversations.
This conference almost didn’t happen. Originally scheduled to take place in Hawkes Bay, it had to be hastily rescheduled in a very short amount of time after Cyclone Gabrielle hit. We were very grateful for the flexibility and helpfulness of all those involved, which enabled us to do so.
So, we’d like to say a big thank you to all our amazing speakers and generous sponsors, to The Narrows Landing and its helpful staff, to Brian from Any AV, Gaz the MC, the MPI Organic Team, Gavin Fisher, Zealong Organic Tea Estate and the ODPG Committee. And a special thank you to all our attendees who came from far and wide to join us.