Gallery | Seymour Alternative Farming Expo

Lachlan Cobb and Jordan Lee from Haeusler's Shepparton agree that showing their wide range of farming machinery at an expo allowed for a wider audience to inspect. “In comparison, some people might feel intimidated to walk into a dealership not being a regular customer already,” Jordan said. “This is more casual, there’s no feeling of obligation.” Jordan also said the evolving electric vehicle technology was well on its way. “We need to be getting people to see what that world looks like.” Photos: Andy Wilson
Seymour Poultry Club president Elizabeth Vidos with one of her silkies on show in the poultry shed. “We have got an amazing range of birds this year, more than we have ever had and we have had a lot more people coming in earlier to buy so they get the pick of the shed.” Why silkies? “They’re a very docile bird, they are great for kids because they can be handled and will hang out in the garden without ruining it.”
The vintage is not quite all in at Mitchelton Wines but Lauren McFarlane from the winery's cellar door had a huge range of wines and bubbles on display. “The harvest is still going but we are pretty much towards the end of it and are fermenting the last of our reds.” Lauren said the wet January had brought with it some powdery mildew which was ‘completely treatable’. “We also saw a lot of whites and reds being harvested at the same time; it was not too hot and not too cool so it was almost perfect conditions for varietals.”
“From 23 horsepower up to 350 horsepower, we supply a range of products for the farmer,” said Nagambie’s Josh Sanderson from John Sanderson Machinery. The company specialises in Massey Ferguson, Kioti and Iseki.
Tallarook Rural Supplies and Sheds’ Stacey Rusic has a passion for horses and her knowledge was at hand for those who wanted a chat, as well as about the range of products for sale. “This is probably our biggest year here,” Mrs Rusic said. “We’ve had a lot of inquiries about sheds today; it’s certainly been worthwhile.”
Adi Sosiawan and Mia Gabsch from Bactivate had their soil testing display on show at the expo, offering a free diagnosis of bacteria and fungus levels in soil samples people brought in. The company specialises in providing a granule source of microbes and all-natural soil activators to change the direction of agriculture onto a more productive, chemical-free path.
Andrew Marr from Bauer Australia with some of the irrigation and farming supplies that were on display.
Atriem Murray Grey stud principal Stephen Koch had some of his top-quality Murray Greys on hand outside of the livestock hub.
With a gleam in his eye, Keith Dudley brushes off thoughts of retiring from his leather craftmanship after 40 years as a saddle maker. A former Lighthorse soldier in the army, Keith now perfects top quality belts, endurance riding saddles — based on the Lighthorse design — and side-saddles. “I can’t retire — I love working with leather,” he said. Photo by Andy Wilson
It’s no surprise that a nursery specialising in plants native to central Victoria is a hit with visitors to the expo. Brendon and Astrid travelled from Kyneton to grab some natives for the garden. Nursery owner Karin Harding said her passion for growing natives was simply because they grow so well! Her favourite local native is the oddly named drumstick, more commonly recognised as a billy button. “They look great in the garden and as cut flowers,” she said.
Laser levels are a must for any earth moving on a farm and Darren Montgomery from Shepparton Lasers advises farmers on using laser levels for flood irrigation, forming raised beds and dryland cropping drainage. The great feedback from farmers is possibly why Darren is still thriving with the company for more than 35 years.
Dairy goat farmers Lucas and Rowland Pell from Undera inspecting one of Akron Australia’s drones with Jimmy O’Neill. Lucas said drone technology had become very innovative. “They are getting better and better; on uneven terrain I think they’d be the bees’ knees.”
Claudia Schwebach shares the love of Toffee the miniature goat. Eden Rise Alpacas and Australian Miniature Goats' Samantha Schwebach said the family were at the expo to provide advice for people preparing to keep goats. “We are here to talk about proper fencing and the type of shed you need before you go out and own a goat,” Samantha said.
Physics teacher-cum-Galloway breeder Ali Hilli returned to this year’s expo with Booboo after a year which saw Jalaway Belted Galloway Beef stud win Grand Champion Bull, Grand Champion Female and Supreme Exhibit at last year’s Royal Melbourne Show. Ali teaches at Lowanna College and has found a tangible link between physics and cattle. “It’s all about physics in terms of structure of the animal because if it’s not right, then they can’t move properly.” At present she is waiting for her prize bull to mature for semen extraction. “There is very little good quality semen available and we have had several judges tell us the bull is exceptional.”
Julia Webster from Poll Highland Cattle Society primps a well-bred calf in preparation for the day. Member and breeder Debbie Menheere said the choice of raising Highlands came down to their temperament and a lifestyle choice. “They’re just so good to look at.” So good in fact that some visitors stepped up for a pat uninvited. Irresistible!
A widening of the eligibility net for vocational education funding saw GOTAFE staff out in force at the Expo with students excited to share their experiences as they took in the day. Youth engagement officer Madison Whiteman and manager of student growth Rayen Molina were on hand to spruik the advantages of a vocation-based education. Rayen said their roles were all about guiding students. “Not putting them into boxes but helping them make the best decisions for themselves in training,” she said. “We make sure the student experience is made the best for them.”