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Fieldays 2010 – Premier Feature 'Innovation for Future Profit'
Part 2 Awards

Samantha Linn - 02/07/2010

Improvement in the form of innovation

The Innovation competition at the 2010 New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays saw backyard inventions emerge from the farm shed. Over two categories, 56 submissions entered the competition, all with the aim of winning the coveted Golden Standard award. The types of inventions in the competition varied from a biodegradable possum baiting station to a multi-task sprayer. The judges were astounded with the impressive array of innovations.

At the Awards Breakfast, the Golden Standard was won with the highly praised invention, the Maxi-trak Quatro invented by the talented Kalvin Singh. Being named as the Invention of the Year, the judges felt the Maxi-trak Quatro will gain major traction in New Zealand and overseas. Its novel approach achieves the transfer of weight to the front axles, thereby increasing operational efficiency.

The Maxi-trak Quatro
The Maxi-trak Quatro

The Equipment category
Entry of the Year was awarded to the Gallagher Group Ltd with the SmartFence, an all in one portable electric fence system. It addresses long standing challenges in the farming sector and although many attempts at a temporary break fence have been seen in the past, none have bought together all elements to make the product work both on farm and in the marketplace.

The Young Inventor of the Year was narrowly won with the Adjustable Drenching Race by Rupert Barton. The modified drenching race is width-adjustable to accommodate drenching of various sized stock. The invention creates great flexibility for single or multiple operators and offers great potential for cattle and sheep.

The Premier Feature (Innovation for Future Profit) Award was awarded to Simon Priest with his Soft Rider Bin Trailer. As explained in the title, the invention is a soft rider loading and unloading bin trailer. The invention has combined a number of innovations to reduce fruit damage, drastically reduce capital outlay and improve operating efficiency. All aspects result in significant gain to the horticulture industry.

The James & Wells Award was rewarded to FTEK Ltd for their Lift 3.0 Horticulture Lift. The lift is designed for crop maintenance and harvesting and can extend up to 3 metres in height. It was a very innovative solution of increasing usability by lifting operators to the required height and may also significantly improve safety of the users.

The Merit Award for the Equipment Category was won by TrackGrip Ltd with their self titled invention TrackGrip. The innovation is intended to improve stability and safety of heavy machinery. The judges admire the invention because it solves a real safety issue while having the potential to be an international profitable business.

The Merit Award for the Inventions Category went to Ian Adams for his Hand Held Grafting Shears. It allows users to cut scion wood ranging from 3mm to 13mm in diameter and can easily prepare rind, 'v' clef, wedge grafts, chip and 'T' buds for insertion. The shears were a cut above the rest as safety was a main feature along with the ability to create a multitude of different grafts.

Winning wearable wonders
The fusion of fashion and farming amazed the hundreds of spectators at the Ag Art Wear awards presentation. The annual competition attracted 52 entries across 4 categories and left the judges with hard decisions when deciding winners.

The presentation of the garments gave the audience a fashionably funky performance showing the wearable art to its full potential. The crowd were mesmerised with the highly praised and Under 21 and section winner and Peoples Choice winner, Tui Tara. Designed by Tessa Paaymaru, the piece is made from seeds, beans and Tui bottle tops to resemble the New Zealand native Tuatara and the Australian frilled lizard. The Runner Up of the Under 21 category, was won by Allegra Peterken with her piece Slightly Gaga.

The winner of the couture section, Avante Garde went to Bill Paul with his creation High Flyer. Incorporating raupo, plastic wrap and super jack sliced totara, the piece takes the shape of an aeroplane with a rotating propeller. The judges found it too hard a decision to select just one second place, therefore Artemin Goddess of the Hunt by Kimberly Baars and Lady Venus by Corinne Heintze, share the Runner Up title.

Landcare Awareness winner Te Awatar, took inspiration from the New Zealand landmark the Waikato River. Designed by Nga Puti Puti O Te Roopu Raranga the garment combines the importance of the river to the people of Waikato and the environmental aspects the mighty river encounters. Nga Puti Puti O Te Roopu Raranga also took out the Runner Up award with the long-drop themed piece, Bums Up. The Designer/Traditional winner did not take the name of the section too literally. Betty Park's muse was the famous socialite, Paris Hilton. She used seed bags, old tin, wire clips and potato bags to signify the celebrity. Colleen Mark was awarded as the Runner Up of the section with a contemporary dress interpreting the villainous tear-causing onion.

Ag Art Wear is proudly supported by; NZ Landcare Trust, HRV, Snapshot Cameras, Event Lighting LTD, Classic Hits, The Make Up Studio, 4 Seasons Home & Leisure and The Sample Room.

She's the one!

Finding the fittest farming filly was a tough ask at the New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays. The eight finalists in the Rural Good Keen Girl competition were the cream of the country and agreeing on just one winner proved to be no easy feat for the judges. Event Coordinator Jacqui Cooper said, "The calibre of the entrants has been exceptionally high and choosing just one winner was harder than we first anticipated."

The New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays is proud to announce the very first Rural Good Keen Girl, Erin Reed, from Napier. The single girls contested in four rurally themed heats, determining the most eligible bachelorette of 2010. Erin wowed the judges with her rural skills and 'good keen' character. Jacqui Cooper relays, "Erin is going to make a wonderful ambassador for Fieldays and was delightful from the very start of the competition."

Erin Reed – Rural Good Keen Girl
Erin Reed – Rural Good Keen Girl

The girls' heats took place alongside the Rural Bachelors providing a bit of friendly banter and plenty of laughs. The dynamics and camaraderie between the bachelors and the girls added an extra entertainment aspect to the already popular heats. Erin won three of the four heats, the Kiwi's Best Brekkie Challenge, the Excavator Skills Challenge and the STIHL chainsaw heat. Yet, the main reason for her winning the title was the fact she truly encompasses the rural girl attitude.

Erin Reed took away a great prize package, consisting of a luxury trip for two to Rarotonga, a $1500 Stihl Chainsaw package, a $1000 Swanndri voucher, and a $100 Skellerup voucher. Thanks to the generosity of the sponsors for their support; Manuia Beach Boutique Motel, Classic Hits, Skellerup, STIHL, Swanndri, SkyCity Hamilton and Trader Jacks.

Torrens Triumphant!
The New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays is proud to announce the Rural Bachelor of the Year, Nick Torrens. Nick battled it out over the four days of Fieldays against seven other blokes to win the esteemed Golden Gumboot. The lads competed in a variety of rurally derived heats testing their skills in; excavating, cooking, cutting horse, fencing and even dancing. Nick won the Hyundai heat and for that reason he says it was his favourite. Nick is humble about being the saying, "I am hugely honoured to think the judges would pick me." The other Bachelor finalists also picked Nick to take out the competition.

Nick Torrens – Rural Bachelor of the Year
Nick Torrens – Rural Bachelor of the Year

Nick Torrens, from Te Aroha consistently performed throughout the various heats and charmed the judges with his good looks and compelling character. The Golden Gumboot was presented to Nick from the 2009 winner and guest judge, Michael Short. With the title came a large prize package, consisting of a trip for two to Rarotonga, a STIHL chainsaw package, a Swanndri package and a Skellerup voucher. Judges say Nick's heart of gold, intelligence, hard-working quality and well-rounded personality were the determining factors in taking out the competition. Jacqui Cooper, Event Coordinator says, "Right from receiving Nick's entry, during the selection process and throughout the competition Nick really epitomises what we look for in the Rural Bachelor of the Year."

Another strong competitor, Simeon Ward, stole the hearts of the public and won the Cycletime People's Choice Award. Simeon, a local Waikato boy, also took out the Runner Up of the competition. Third place went to the Napier's Jacques Reinhardt.

The array of prizes for the Rural Bachelor champion is valued at $20,000, from the generous support of the following sponsors; Classic Hits, Swanndri, Skellerup, Stihl, Cook Island Tourism, Leisurerite Spas, Cycle Time, Hyundai, SKYCITY Hamilton and Trader Jacks.

Summing it up
Guest speakers at the ceremony discussed the reputation of New Zealand being an innovative country and the need to keep inventing for a strong robust future. Ceri Wells pointed out, "our economic prosperity depends on us delivering and developing new and better products and services." Te Radar illustrated the Kiwi innovative reputation by presenting past inventions which represent the New Zealand approach to innovation; give it a go. Jim Bolger concluded the awards ceremony by challenging the inventors to keep thinking practically, "Go forward and think again."

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