The Goondiwindi region is set to come alive this May with the brand new, month-long Discover Farming Festival.
Showcasing local producers and industries, the festival aims to broaden awareness of agriculture in the region, build local support and establish a solid foundation and program of events.
Festival co-ordinator Jerome Leray, Western Aerial Mapping, said in the long term the festival aims to shine a spotlight on the region as a great place to live with the hope of attracting investment and people to live and work in the region.
“Agriculture is the biggest economic contributor to the region’s economy, and is the largest employer, generating over 1,400 jobs for 27 per cent of the population,” he said.
“Our farmers and local businesses support the robust development of some of Australia’s most exciting and innovative farming technology alongside the growing demands of our domestic and international food supply chain.
“We want to put a spotlight on our farms, our land and the future of agriculture technology, and hopefully create something that everyone in Australia knows about.
“We’ll bring the spotlight back every year and for the other 11 months of the year, we’ll build other businesses, market the products, and market the farmers.”
Running over the four weekends in May, the festival will be launched in partnership with the Goondiwindi Show on May 4 and 5.
The Discover Farming Pavilion will showcase producers that are involved with the festival and will allow people to taste, feel and experience their products, along with interactive displays of local agriculture technology, including a simulator in which people can control a tractor.
The second weekend boasts an exciting day of farm tours where people can venture to the region’s foodie underground and enjoy all it has to offer.
Showcasing Inglewood’s finest produce, Saturday May 12 is a true paddock-to-plate experience and a day not to be missed.
The third weekend in May will be dedicated to unearthing Goondiwindi.
Venturing off to what the festival committee likes to call ‘intimate farm forages,’ visitors can experience Karbullah Merinos, one of Queensland’s most dynamic sheep enterprises; witness the wonder of Goondiwindi Cotton’s farm tours; or watch the traditional mustering of cattle on horseback.
The day ends with ‘Gather’ – a black tie showcase of leading producers from the region to industry representatives and press. The evening aims to shine a light on the region’s colourful array of produce through a seasonal menu designed to inspire the tastebuds of its guests.
Featuring Gooralie Free Range Pork, Barambah Organics, Sunpork, Karbullah Lamb, Human Bean Co, Macintyre Brook Olive Oil and more, the signature event will showcase the best the region has to offer on a national scale.
The festival draws to a close on Saturday May 19, with a tour showcasing why Goondiwindi is fast becoming the ag-tech capital of Australia, including a robust display of exciting and innovative farming.
After 40 years of farming history in the Goondiwindi region and 25 years of success with his business Goondiwindi Cotton, there’s no doubt that Sam Coulton is the ideal gold sponsor for the festival.
Highlighting the region’s vast agricultural industries from horticulture, to fibres, dairy and meat, Mr Coulton said it was important that the region showcased locally-grown products that were being enjoyed both nationally and internationally
“I think Australia is yet to appreciate the scale and quality of produce coming out of this region collectively,” he said.