This year the South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) returns to Invercargill and promises to be an event not to miss. This year's theme 'riding the wave - keeping your balance in volatile times' reflects economic commentators' forecasts for increasing volatility.
SIDE event committee chair Paul Marshall says this year's event June 23-25 will help cater for less certainty farmers are facing, bought on by commodity price surges, exchange rate fluctuations and variable weather.
"This year's SIDE conference is themed at how farmers can better structure their business to provide increased resilience in response to greater swings in farming inputs and outputs," says Paul.
Rabobank's director of dairy research, Hayley Moynihan, heads-up the line-up of keynote speakers, opening the conference with her unique perspective on global dairy matters and the risks and opportunities.
Risk is also a theme that Fonterra CEO Theo Sprierings will pick up - and two years into his role, will give some insights into how his expectations have married with reality.
"Justine Kidd, BEL Group business manager and 2013 New Zealand Dairy Women of the Year, will speak on corporate governance and effective governance structures within family businesses during the Bill Kane Memorial Address," says Paul. "This is on day two, which drills down into structure of businesses.
"And to talk about building effective teams, who better than Rob Waddell, New Zealand's Olympic team chef de mission, who will tell us how to get the best out of people."
Other keynote speakers include health and wellness expert Ed Timings, who will spread the message that nothing is more important in business than wellness and work-life balance.
Landcorp chief executive Steven Carden is the final keynote speaker and will discuss dairy's development trajectory and sustainability - which should be a fascinating insight into the thinking guiding New Zealand's largest farming company.
"Steven will also take one of the three BusinessSIDE sessions, peeling back some of his learnings in strategic planning and implementation," says Paul.
The BusinessSIDE seminars at the SIDE are designed for owners, sharemilkers and equity partners interested in investing off-farm. Tickets to these seminars must be purchased in addition to the three-day SIDE pass.
"The other two BusinessSIDE seminars include one on business risk - identifying risk and strategies for effective management, and another on the practice of governance and its interface with management. Should be really interesting."
There is also a comprehensive workshop programme which covers a diverse range of subject areas - environmental, technology, cows and grass, and staffing.
The popular SIDE dinner promises to be an entertaining evening with comedian Ben Hurly on MC duties. Registrations are essential.
Register online at: side.org.nz
Stadium Southland, Invercargill
- Rabobank's Hayley Moynihan
- Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings
- 2013 New Zealand Dairy Woman of the Year Justine Kidd
- New Zealand's Olympic team chef de mission, Rob Waddell
- Landcorp chief executive Steven Carden.