Fourth generation Wauchope dairy farmer Chris Eggert will join the big names in Australian agriculture to discuss the impacts of climate change and COVID-19 on food supplies, innovation and diversification at the national agrifood conference Farm2Plate Exchange in South East Queensland's Scenic Rim on May 18-19.
Produced and facilitated by food innovation and regional development agency, Regionality, the conference will be an important forum for delegates from across the country to access and contribute to conversations on topics such as the impact of climate change on farming practices, the future of farming and inter-generational equity, connecting with the conscious consumer and how to make food provenance a way of life for Australians post-pandemic.
Mr Eggert will speak on the subject of Farmers Doing It Differently. His family farm, Oxhill Organics, began the conversion to organic in 2000, and produces over one million litres of certified organic milk each year using methods that save money, water, minimise waste while maximising recycling of nutrients.
Mr Eggert says Farm2Plate Exchange will provide an opportunity for a big exchange of ideas.
"When you make a decision to buy food you have to think about what you eat and how it's grown," he said.
"This is an event about people with a passion for food and where that food comes from, what they grow, why they grow it and what motivates them."
Regionality managing director, Rose Wright, said this year's theme of Renewal was imperative given the industry's recent challenges of droughts, floods, fires and COVID-19.
"There is no question that 2020 was one of the most difficult years on record, but many of our farmers have demonstrated their strength and resilience by pivoting their businesses into innovations like agritourism and new distribution models to adapt to ongoing changing conditions," Ms Wright said.
"That's why it's important to come together this year, to ask questions of our key speakers, debate big ideas, gain insights on new approaches to traditional issues and have the opportunity to genuinely discuss the growing number of opportunities and challenges our farmers, food and drink producers, chefs and tourism and hospitality businesses are dealing with everyday.
"As the name suggests, the program is designed as an 'exchange' for all delegates to not only hear from, but talk to and connect with an incredible lineup of knowledgeable and influential local and international speakers, via a number of panels and workshops you wouldn't encounter elsewhere."
This event is made possible by the support of Scenic Rim Regional Council and from the Commonwealth Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement.
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