Townies get a taste of farm life in nationwide open days

The initiative aimed to reconnect kiwis with the rural sector.
The initiative aimed to reconnect kiwis with the rural sector. Photo credit: Supplied

An initiative which saw farmers across the country open their gates to the public on Sunday attracted more than 5500 visitors.

45 farmers took part in the inaugural nationwide open farm day, which aimed to reconnect Kiwis with the rural sector, and promote an understanding of how food is produced.

Farms of all types and sizes participated, from high-country sheep stations in Otago to dairy farms in the Waikato and a vertical microgreens producer in Wellington.

Open Farms founder Daniel Eb said it was great to see the response from  both farmers and townies.

"From compost making to bush and stream tours, petting zoos, working dog demonstrations and fruit picking, today was about kiwis reconnecting with our land, food and farmers, and having a bit of old-school fun," said Eb.

Thousands of New Zealanders took part in the open days.
Thousands of New Zealanders took part in the open days. Photo credit: Supplied

Eb said more than three quarters of events were fully booked, particularly those close to urban centres.

Plans are afoot for the initiative to be held every year.

"We built Open Farms to grow into an annual event and we're now working off a great year-one foundation."

The open days promote an understanding of how food is produced.
The open days promote an understanding of how food is produced. Photo credit: Supplied

Federated Farmers' president, Katie Milne said the open days were a great way of promoting an understanding of what happens on farms.

"It's really important because we don't have as many people, rellies and cousins and so on coming out and staying on our farms we used to because everyone has got so busy in their life and transport is difficult because roads are congested, so we are losing that connectedness," said Milne.

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