Almost 500 exhibitors will be on display at this year’s Seymour Alternative Farming Expo.
Held in the heart of Victoria at Kings Park in Seymour, 22,000 visitors are expected to attend the three-day event from February 15 to 17.
Event manager Susie Filleti said the expo would present the latest technology, practices and trends in small and backyard farming, offer plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with animals and enjoy the market-style shopping, food and entertainment.
She said visitors often used the expo as a learning experience.
‘‘If someone is thinking about trying a new farming venture they can come along to the expo and talk to people who have been there and done that and are happy to share their experiences,’’ she said.
Jill Noble and Gary Tie have been coming to the expo for more than 10 years and will be presenting two farm lectures.
In ‘Seven Sheep Essentials’ they will talk about effective use of pasture and how sheep can control weeds and act as environmental monitors.
They will also demonstrate how technology can be helpful in sheep farming and introduce listeners to some useful apps.
The session called ‘Five Business Skills for Farming Success’ is aimed at people who are new to farming.
‘‘When starting out, people often concentrate on the practical side of farming,’’ Ms Noble said.
‘‘We will be talking about sales and marketing, financial aspects of the business and strategic planning.’’
The expo also has lectures and presentations from Agriculture Victoria.
‘‘The experts from Agriculture Victoria come along to keep farmers up-to-date with new thinking and government systems relevant to the industry,’’ Ms Filleti said.
‘‘This year they will be covering topics such as preparing for the next dry season, the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS), rights and responsibilities on farm biosecurity and preparations for livestock and horses in bushfires.’’
Local cattle managers will also share their expertise in several farm lectures. Each day there will be a lecture on ‘Cattle Production Basics’, which will be aimed at attendees who might be thinking of getting involved with cattle production.
This will give listeners an introduction to the basic procedures involved in running a small cattle herd.
‘Cattle Reproduction and Calving Management’ will explain the normal calving process, what can go wrong and when the vet needs to be called.
Other topics covered will include farm insurance, fruit fly traps, weed control and pasture improvement, Boer goats, alpacas, worm farms for waste management and beekeeping in backyards.
A full timetable is included in the official event guide or at www.seymourexpo.com.au.
You can also buy tickets on the website, with online tickets available for 17 per cent off the gate price.
■The Southern Riverina News has been offered two double passes to the expo to give away to readers. To claim one of the double passes, go to www.seymourexpo.com.au/southernriverinanews/.