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Record Numbers at Small Farming Expo

Over 500 people walked through the gates to this year’s Small Farming Expo at the Rocklea Showgrounds, and they were able to enjoy the largest number of exhibitors at the event to date.And while there may have been plenty of cute animals to cuddle, ponies to ride and gourmet foods to taste, there was a lot more to the expo then just entertainment.

Organiser Margo Hayes said the expo is a great way to educate people on different types of smaller livestock breeds which are often more suited to small acreage properties.

“Initially the expo was just about cattle, and then we expanded it to include other breeds such as llamas and alpacas that people on smaller places might be interested in,” Mrs Hayes said.

“The expo has helped people decide what breeds they might enjoy the most and what they can easily manage in smaller operations.”

The event importantly helps to close the gap between regional residents and their rural counterparts. Mrs Hayes said the Small Farming Expo also attracts a number of people each year looking for a tree change.

“They can come here and source what’s available and they can get all the information they need, given there’s a number of talks and demonstrations throughout the day,” Mrs Hayes said.

“The exhibitors this year were all very happy and they said they had a lot of genuine interest. Overall the day was a great success, but the weather was against us a bit. Next year we are hoping to bring the event forward to hopefully beat the heat.

“We’re looking at holding the Small Farming Expo in a different location, and expanding it to include other sustainable small farming production systems,” Mrs Hayes said.

The Small Farming Expo started out as an on-property field day at Mrs Hayes place, where it ran for seven years before its growth necessitated a new venue. It was then held at Maleny for a year, and for the past three it has been at the Rocklea Showgrounds.

Words by Andrea Schulz

Approved for distribution by Margo Hayes

Images by Sarah Coulton

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