Nestled on the banks of the MacIntyre River, Goondiwindi and surrounding regions will host Discover Farming – a celebration of food, fibre and agricultural excellence from the Goondiwindi Region landing each weekend in May.
Home of the infamous Goondiwindi Grey – ‘Gunsynd’, there’s more than meets the eye to the busy local region that connects Queensland and New South Wales. Goondiwindi and surrounds encompass a total land area of about 19,300 square kilometres. This land is used largely for agriculture including cotton, grain growing, sheep and cattle grazing with forestry also being an important industry.
Discover Farming is a new festival that aims to broaden awareness of agriculture in the region.
In year one, the festival aims to build local support and establish a solid foundation and program of events. Long term, the event aims to shine a spotlight on the region as a great place to live attracting investment and people to live and work in the region.
Festival Co-ordinator, Jerome Leray, Western Aerial Mapping says:“Agriculture is the biggest economic contributor to the region’s economy, and is the largest employer, generating over 1,400 jobs for 27% of the population. 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”.
Amongst the region’s established food producers are Sunpork, one of the largest pork producers in Australia; Barambah Organics, exporting dairy products to Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Brunei and Fiji and Human Bean Co, a flavoursome new snack food grown and made in Goondiwindi by Woods Food.
Additionally, there are boutique producers at Inglewood such as Coolmunda Olives and Leven K Lavender venturing into the growing demand of agri-tourism offering site tours and visits to their farm.
Festival Gold Sponsor, Sam Coulton, Goondiwindi Cotton says: “Our region is home to a vast group of agricultural industries – horticulture (olives); farming (fibre, grains and pulses); meat and poultry (pork, beef, lamb and chicken) and dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt). These locally grown products are being enjoyed both nationally and internationally, but I think Australia is yet to appreciate the scale and quality of produce coming out of this region collectively.”
The festival, which lands over four weekends in May, will launch in line with the Goondwindi Show on May 4-5. Visitors are invited to meet local innovators at this year’s Discover Farming Pavilion. Perfect for families, the Southern Downs Steam Railway from Warwick will also travel to Goondiwindi taking in various hot spots along the way.
The second weekend, takes in the delights of Inglewood with a food trail of the region whilst the third weekend, anchors the festival with a signature event called ‘Gather’. The dinner, held under the stars at the Customs House Museum, will showcase the regions colourful array of produce with a seasonal menu designed to inspire the tastebuds of its guests.
On the final weekend, discover why Goondiwindi is fast becoming the ag-tech capital of Australia. With a robust display of exciting and innovative farming, view driverless tractor technology and remote monitoring systems that test subsoil moisture and water levels.
The region is encouraging visitors from all over to join them throughout the month of May.
For more information, visit www.discoverfarming.com.au.