Sustainability talk unites local producers in South Burnett
THE topic of sustainability was on the table as farmers from around the region gathered at a special event in Mofftatdale.
Guest speakers Tammi and Stuart Jonas from Jonai Farms in the Central Highlands in Victoria and Dean and Mason Mayne from Piggy in the Middle lead the discussions around food sovereignty at Hidden Gold Homestead.
From 9am to 3pm on Thursday, July 11, the guest speakers sat along side the farmers outside on the deck at the homestead and covered a range of topics about sustainable food production.
Making use of everything on the farm, lowering stock numbers and the regular rotation of animals were just some of the methods raised as to how producers can create more sustainable practices.
As well as being the Chief Butcher at their farm in Victoria, guest speaker Mrs Jonas is the president of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance.
After speaking at the Moffatdale event she was flying out in a couple of days time to speak at the United Nations about food sovereignty.
During the event Mrs Jonas said being able to sustain their customers was less about marketing but more around storytelling.
She said people are interested in the 'why' and if producers have to raise their prices, the customer will most likely continue to buy the products if they are educated about this decision.
Cousins Dean and Mason Mayne were also guest speakers at the sustainable talk and were able to in part their knowledge they have learned through their agricultural business journey.
After teaming up in 2016 and moving to Kilkivan with their families to start start a pig and sheep farm, they have implemented regenerative practices on their farm.
The pair raise and butcher pasture-fed pork, lamb, chicken and eggs and said it was essential for producers to find their market and concentrate on that.
They also said they are part of Community Supported Agriculture, which is an organisation where people buy a membership at a lowered price and the producers delivers boxes of their harvest to them to encourage minimal waste.
Supported by Business South Burnett, it was the first event hosted by owners of Hidden Gold Homestead Clinton and Tina Kenyon.
The couple are passionate about educating people about sustainable food production, especially children.
Mr Kenyon said he has visited the Jonas' farm in Victoria a number of times and was inspired to run an event similar to what they host on their farm down south.
"We have great food producers in South Burnett area who are creating a tourism hub around food,” Mr Kenyon said.
"We are really excited about regenerative agriculture, food sustainability and teaching people about where their food comes from.
"Sustainable agriculture is fantastic, but we want to take it one step further by educating people about regenerative agricultural and how they can implement these methods on their farms ,” he said.
"After all what's more important than producing environmentally friendly, nutritious food for our families?”
Ironically the Kenyon's segue into producing great quality products was ignited from their customers.
"When we had the butcher's shop at Wooroolin, our customers used to ask us about our meat and wanted to know how it was produced,” Mr Kenyon said.
"They knew what they wanted and after countless amounts of research, we are now on our way to producing pastured fed meat aimed at having the highest nutritional value on our property.”
Mr Kenyon said they are in the process of building their soil nutrition and aim to sell pastured fed beef, chickens and pigs in the coming months.
Hidden Gold Homestead offers accommodation, food and workshops for adults and children to learn about sustainable farming and healthy living.