2014 New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays: 11 - 14 June

The University of Waikato welcomes the opportunity to once again play a key role when the National Agricultural Fieldays opens at Mystery Creek on 11 June. 

The University has supported Fieldays since our first Vice-Chancellor, Sir Don Llewellyn, helped establish the agricultural showpiece in the 1960s. We've been a strategic partner for seven years and the expo is a great opportunity to showcase the University's research and expertise to the community and to show how our graduates and academics are making an impact locally, nationally and internationally.

Visit the University of Waikato's stand inside the main pavillion to see the latest work being carried out by our world-leading researchers as it aligns with this year's theme, 'Managing Resources for a Competitive Advantage'. The research on display focuses on one of the key resources in need of careful management, fresh water. Be sure to let us know if you are a graduate - we'd love to hear what you're up to now. Read on for a taste of what to expect.



Collaboration and technology key to better water data

Through technology and collaboration New Zealand scientists would be able to monitor the water quality of the country's largest 4000 lakes.

Waikato University Professor David Hamilton, who is the Bay of Plenty Coastal Chair in Lake Restoration and leads the Water Quality Group for LERNZ (Lake Ecosystem Restoration New Zealand), says the information potentially available by such a move "is quite remarkable". Read more



Water study gets flowing

University of Waikato researchers are leading a project examining freshwater food gathering areas and how best to manage them through the use of both science and mātauranga Māori.  

The research project will consider what role mahinga kai could have in representing the state of our freshwater resources. It will also consider whether using mātauranga Māori alongside Western science could enhance the credibility and acceptability of limits set on using those resources and the best way to communicate research results from hapū level to a national level. Read more



Paying farmers not to pollute

Providing incentives to farmers not to pollute could be more effective than fining them when they do says University of Waikato economist Professor Les Oxley.

"We would still retain the fundamental environmental law principle of 'polluter pays' if they do pollute, but let's give them an incentive not to do the things we don't want them to do, rather than punishing them for doing the things they may decide to do, simply because they're interested in production rather than profit,” says Professor Oxley. Read more



Flower Fellowship recipient's research looks to combat water shortage on farms

As New Zealand farms continue to face problems associated with ongoing drought, University of Waikato doctoral student Jack Pronger hopes his current research project will contribute to an improvement in pastoral drought resilience.

As the recipient of the Flower Doctoral Fellowship in Agribusiness, a scholarship worth $30,000 a year for three years, Jack will focus on identifying approaches to increase drought resilience by using more diverse mixes of pasture species - research that could have a significant impact on farm production.

His research is being supervised by the School of Science's Dr Dave Campbell and Professor Louis Schipper, whose research into nitrogen beds will be on show at the University of Waikato's Fieldays stand. Read more



Fieldays scholarship to study environmental compliance

People might be surprised to learn how much dairy farmers are investing to protect the environment says University of Waikato masters student Thomas Macdonald.

Thomas has just been awarded a $17,000 New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays Sir Don Llewellyn Scholarship to assist his study into the cost of environmental compliance in the dairy industry.

He says the regulations regarding nutrient-management continue to increase, and he's finding out what the different options are for farmers and how much they are costing.  A key aim of his research is to bridge the information gap between regulators and farmers as well as the rural urban divide regarding the investment made in protecting the environment. Read more



Fieldays scholarship to study embryonic development in cattle

University of Waikato student Brooke Wilson has been awarded a $5000 New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays Sir Don Llewellyn Scholarship for her study into the effects of NANOG down-regulation in bovine embryos.

Brooke's research is aimed at selectively reducing NANOG expression in bovine embyos, to better understand the gene's function specifically in cattle. 

"The results from this project will assist in improving our understanding of cattle reproduction and embryology, with the future goal of generating a truly embryonic stem cell line for livestock animals," says Brooke. Read more



Cap and trade schemes to improve water quality?

Waikato University economists are working with DairyNZ to assess whether cap and trade schemes could be used to improve water quality.

Dr Dan Marsh does number crunching and uses models to track what it costs farmers to achieve a given goal or target.

"Some regional councils have set across-the-board limits for allowable nitrate leaching. I've found that if farmers were allowed to trade allowances, then in theory, leaching reductions could be achieved at a lower cost," says Dr Marsh. Read more



Designer shows his stuff at Fieldays

In a white beanie and black top, with an impish smile and a friendly word for everyone, Keith Soo is a familiar face in lecture theatres as a senior lecturer in computer graphic design.

While he's been on staff for nearly 10 years, it's likely he's more well-known overseas, where he's a higly regarded, award winning interactive graphic designer. Closer to home, he helped design the University of Waikato's stand at this year's Fieldays. Read more



Quick links

From the Vice-Chancellor

This year marks the eighth year as a strategic partner with Fieldays, and we look forward to working together on enhancing and growing the agricultural sector both regionally and nationally. This year also marks the University's 50th anniversary, which makes our presence at Fieldays all the more significant. 

Although we are a strong player in the region, we are also an institution with strong international connections which stem from our partnerships with other institutions and organisations around the world. While you are at Fieldays, I invite you to visit our Premier Feature stand and find out more about the research we carry out at the University of Waikato. I look forward to seeing you there. 
Professor Roy Crawford

Win tickets to Fieldays
Alumni can enter to win one of 10 double passes to Fieldays, simply by registering interest to Winners will be notified 10 June. 

Buy Fieldays tickets here.

View the interactive map and find out what's on here. Our stand is located in the Premier Feature area at PF10-12.

Follow us online
Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates from Fieldays - #waievents, Facebook for the latest news and photos and YouTube for video interviews and much more. 

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Research and innovation at Waikato
The latest Re:think magazine, showcasing Waikato's latest research and innovation highlights, is now available online. 

Agri-business Forum: Discover the Waikato AgriHub, 10 June

The University is hosting an agribusiness forum on the eve of Fieldays to discuss progress in the development of the Waikato AgriHub. Featured speakers include AgResearch Chief Executive Tom Richardson, DairyNZ Chief Executive Tim Mackle and Professor of Agribusiness Jacqueline Rowarth. 

Waikato Management Short Courses
Women's Business Leadership, 12 June, considers the role of women leadership in highly reliable organisations (HRO) and will aid participants to develop the skills to direct and coordinate their firm's human, technical and organisational resources. Crisis Management and Communication, 26 June, looks at the stages of managing communication in a crisis and developing the ability to manage crisis communication. Discounted rates are available for alumni.

Inaugural Professorial Lectures
This lecture series introduces the University's newest professors to the community. Come along to find out how our people are having a real impact on the world around us. 
17 June: Professor Kim Pickering, Faculty of Science and Engineering
15 July: Professor Michele Akoorie, Waikato Management School 

Tell us your stories

In celebrating our 50th anniversary, we're also celebrating the achievements of you - our alumni. Get in touch and tell us your story and you could be part of our Jubilee Profiles. 

Help us reconnect
Lost Alumni are graduates that we have lost touch with, and we want to be in touch with as many of our graduates as possible. Check the Lost Alumni list to see if you or someone you know is there. 

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