West Otago farmers and local business supported their community by donating goods, and competing to buy them at auction at the annual West Otago baleage and stock feed competition in Tapanui last Friday.
‘‘It’s a good excuse to gather socially and raise money for local good causes… and maybe gain a little kudos with the feed you’re producing,’’ West Otago Lions Club secretary Mike Robinson said.
Mr Williams, who is also an experienced farmer, explained the different types of baleage and crops and the built›up knowledge farmers applied to New Zealand’s primary industry.
‘‘Farmers donate bales of maize, barley, oats and so forth and we judge it informally, but lab testing would show the metabolisable energy (ME) in some of this feed is very high.
‘‘It’s about skill in monitoring growth, timing harvest, baling and storing in order to get the best ME possible for your animals over winter and especially for lambing and calving,’’ he said.
In the main shed, rural professionals and families bid on products and packages donated by about 75 local and national businesses, as well as scores of feed bales, with funds administered and distributed by the West Otago Lions and A&P societies.
Also on show were swedes, beets and leaf and stem crops, providing an opportunity for children to enter their biggest and ugliest vegetables and use their swedes to get creative.
‘‘The competition’s really a fun fundraiser, but lot of people may not realise the depth of the technical expertise farmers are actually responsible for,’’ Mr Williams said.
› It’s a good excuse to gather socially and raise money for local good causes… and maybe gain a little kudos with the feed you’re producing— Mike Robinson.