Message from the Chair of SIDE 2014 – Corrigan Sowman

Corrigan Sowman - Chair of SIDE 2014We are excited to be hosting SIDE in Southland again this year. It has been four years since we last held SIDE in Invercargill due to the snow damage to Stadium Southland. Typical of this great region, the community has rallied and rebuilt an outstanding facility. It will be wonderful to showcase this new venue at SIDE 2014. ‘Riding the Wave’ is a great metaphor for this last twelve months in the New Zealand dairy industry. Without dwelling on last August’s WPC80 food contamination scare, we all witnessed with dramatic effect how easy it is to “fall off your board”. However, we are now back on the wave and surfing towards a record milk price.

There are many parallels between surfing and farming. Location, weather conditions, people, the environment, trends, branding, casual and competitive. As many of you know, positioning ourselves and our businesses to catch the right wave, and then riding it for as long as possible are key factors for success.

This year, SIDE has caught the technology wave with an extensively redeveloped website to provide easy registration and all the information about our event. For the first time we will have a conference app which will add to the experience for smart phone users. This will be available to download prior to the event and will provide a greater depth of information, real time updates throughout the event, the opportunity to provide instant feedback and also network with other conference attendees.