Alternative farming has become a global trend, with record crowds flocking to the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo to learn all about it.
The weekend’s expo attracted 22000 visitors and 500 stallholders, demonstrating the continuing growth in size and diversity of the annual event.
‘‘Shining a spotlight on innovation, products and techniques in small and backyard farming, from both Seymour and Australia-wide, there is nothing like the expo anywhere else,’’ expo events manager Susie Filleti said.
‘‘Not only does it cater for the best and the most fascinating in non-traditional farming, it also provides a fun day for families and those seeking a festival day out.
‘‘The expo also provides an enormous economic and social impact for Seymour and the Mitchell Shire region and the opportunity to showcase all the area has to offer.’’
Among the exhibitor highlights this year was special guest Paula Pownall from Grubs Up Insect Farm, who provided insight into cricket consumption for both animals and humans.
‘‘We saw that there was a new trend in farming with the crickets and Grubs Up are the first in Australia to do it, so having them at the expo was a huge coup,’’ Ms Filleti said.
Farming innovation took centre stage at the expo. Popular exhibitor The Yield, an agriculture technology company, showcased its app Sensing+, which converts data collected from on-farm sensors into a seven-day weather forecast.
‘‘This is another example that is the very definition of alternative farming, by using new trends in technology to achieve better farming practices,’’ Ms Filleti said.
Visitors laughed, smiled and looked on in awe with the expo’s two stellar animal shows.
The Pig Racing Australia Show saw pigs dive into pools of water and race one another with glee, while the Flipping Disc Dogz Show saw a team of Border collies impress the crowd with tricks and stunts.
Skill and expertise were displayed in an impressive show with the 2018 AWPA Victorian Whipcracking Championships and Australian Bullock Whip Championships, which were held for the first time at this year’s expo.
Daniel Wicks, from NSW, took out the Australian Bullock Whip Championships as well as the Men’s Victorian Whipcracking Championships.
Some of the finest culinary delights were on display across the farmers’ market, food courts and stalls.
There were also some fascinating demonstrations in butchery and cooking, with the latter using ingredients from fellow stallholders.
‘‘This year we placed a huge emphasis on creating that festival atmosphere and this was achieved through extensive food coverage,’’ Ms Filleti said.
‘‘Tapping into the nationwide food obsession and featuring as much variety as possible, people could enjoy that real farm-to-fork experience at the expo.’’