ALMOST 500 exhibitors will be on display at this year’s Seymour Alternative Farming Expo.
Held in the heart of Victoria at Kings Park in Seymour, 22,000 visitors are expected to attend the three-day event from February 15.
Event manager Susie Filleti said the expo would present the latest technology, practices and trends in small and backyard farming, offer plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with animals and enjoy the market-style shopping, food and entertainment.
Ms Filleti said there were some must-see additions to this year’s entertainment line-up, including drone racing and working dog demonstrations, while the Learning Hub schedule will be jam-packed with informative talks.
“One of the innovative ideas we’ll be exploring is industrial hemp farming,” Ms Filleti said.
“The Hemp Building Company will be looking at how Australia’s housing crisis can be addressed using Hempcrete and demonstrate how it is used by building a doghouse during the event.
“The Victorian Brumby Association will also host a talk about owning brumbies and capitalising on their versatility.”
Crowd favourites Farmer Daryl and his band of animals, the Flipping Disc Dogz, Reptile Awareness Displays and the 2019 AWPA Victorian Whipcracking and Bullock Whip Championships are back. The Country Kitchen and Butcher Shop are always a highlight, and Ms Filleti said the timetable of cooking demonstrations had been expanded.
“Event stalwart Bob (the Butcher) Dewar is hanging up his cleaver for the last time but he will join Secret Garden chef Adrian Hensley and new butcher Victor Bonacci for three final sessions,” she said.
“They will elaborate on the ever popular steak session, create a loaf of sourdough from scratch – a process that normally takes three weeks – and smoke a whole leg of ham ready to dig into during the last session of the day.”
Another must-not-miss addition is a happy half hour where expo-goers can taste-test creations from Tooborac Hotel and Brewery, Bellarine Estate and Original Spirit Co.
Mitchell Shire mayor Bill Chisholm said the expo was the shire’s largest and most anticipated attraction, adding more than $6 million annually to the local economy.
“The Seymour Alternative Farming Expo is one of the best ways for traditional and alternative farmers to come together in our municipality to learn from each other,” Cr Chisholm said.
“With plenty of new techniques being shown off each year, it is great to see so many people come together to understand new technologies, as farms and households embrace sustainable living and adapt to our unique environment.
“Each year we see more and more children coming along to learn about the different ways people are farming as the region continues to adapt to the changing world.”
■The Seymour Alternative Farming Expo will be held from February 15 to 17, at Kings Park in Seymour. For information or to buy tickets online and save 17 per cent off the gate price, visit: seymourexpo.com.au