- 22 November 2018
With a crowd of over 100 people, Goulburn and surrounds gathered together at the Grace Milsom Centre in Goulburn, to celebrate National Agricultural Day on the 21st of November. Regional Development Australia Southern Inland’s (RDA Southern Inland) annual occasion promised a celebration of the agricultural community’s resilience throughout the year. And with the help of an impressive line-up of guest speakers, a showcase of stalls representing their own local business and produce, a delicious BBQ, some blissful music and a wonderful audience, a celebration was indeed delivered.
RDA Southern Inland’s Chairman Hugh Cooke acted as MC for night and Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s Mayor Bob Kirk opened the event acknowledging our farmers and the agricultural community. Bob expressed his admiration for their “knowledge and work capacity” and has no doubts that even though there will always be tough times ahead, “resilience will continue to shine through for the future”.
Samantha Wan was the first speaker of the night who was representing Elders and the ever-changing Wool Market Industry. Samantha shared her journey of getting into agriculture and explained that although she was not from a farming background, wool growers and farmers acted as mentors that showed her the “resilience and grit” to push forward into making it a career. She described wool as being her “connection to Australia” and how she loves “the stories about who started the farm, how many generations have been there and even something as simple as how a farming brand could come about”. Samantha stated that although she and the Elder’s business as a whole have their tough times, as a team they have pulled together to make it through.
Bill Johnson, former South East Local Land Services District Vet, was next to speak and he focused on how farmers become what he describes as “grade 5 resilient”. With over 20 years under his belt as the local district vet, Bill has seen it all. Bill recognised that even the best of farmers have their bad days and that it is those that “look for opportunities and make decisions” that push through. However, as Bill emphasised, “there are some things you can’t do anything about. That things like the weather are beyond their control”.
Tara Craig from Narambulla Partnership, talked about the planning and use of new developments and technologies that have helped get them through some dry months.
“We farmers manage to minimize the risks involved with farming on one of the driest continents with low quality soil and with the continuously changing climate…forward planning becomes a very useful tool”.
Tara expressed that Australian farmers have remained competitive on a Global Food Market and our agricultural region has still remained amongst the best in the world. She also discussed how the development of new technologies have helped farmers better prepare for the hard times.
“We should be proud of where the agriculture sector has come and where the new development and technologies are taking us,” Tara said, “I wouldn’t do anything else no matter how tough times got”.
Charlie Reardon from Roseglen Farm concluded the speeches reminding us that agriculture remains a “rapidly evolving industry” that adapts quickly in regards to meeting global demands.
“Farms are more than just a business, they are a central point where many call home whether they currently live there or not.”
The night was relaxed as attendees had the chance to meet others from the industry. Lucky door prizes were won which included a one year annual membership with Tablelands Farming Systems, a Lithium Jumpstarter thanks to Goulburn Produce and a Bunnings gift voucher valued at $100. Dewsburys Pork supplied a tasty BBQ run by Goulburn Rotary as live music filled the air by Roo Arcus.
Fiona Porteous from Bent Shed Produce was one of the stall holders selling local produce that consisted of Australian native herbs and spices. For Fiona, the Ag Day BBQ was an opportunity to “meet new growers and encourage others to grow natural produce”.
RDA Southern Inland would like to thank the sponsors for this event; Divalls, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Rotary Australia, NSW Farmers, Local Land Services South East, Elders, Goulburn Post and Tablelands Farming Systems.