Man from Shenandoah to share secrets of the land
  • Tuesday 26 July 2011

A world leader in innovative food production is visiting the Sunshine Coast on 5 August.

Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, farmer Joel Salatin will share his unique knowledge and expertise on farming techniques and strategies with Australian producers and members of the local food industry at a special workshop in Beerwah.

The workshop will provide an intense full day, covering animal production systems, farm design, "relationship marketing" techniques; it will include Mr Salatin’s approach to developing learning opportunities for young farmers through an intern program.

Mr Salatin, a third-generation "beyond organic" farmer at his Polyface Farm, boasts a farming success rare in the face of entrenched food production practices and almost overwhelming bureaucratic and legal pressures.

The farm produces salad bar beef, pigaerator pork, pastured poultry, forage-based rabbits and vegetables, and direct-markets everything to 4000 families, 40 restaurants, and 10 retail outlets.

"Joel is not just talking about regenerating and building sustainable farming systems," workshop convenor Kym Kruse from RegenAG said.

"This is on another level again. Joel’s philosophy integrates local food production into communities and businesses," he said.

"It involves both farmers and urban dwellers in the ethical and profitable production of healthy nutritional food while building strong community systems."

Economic Development and Entrepreneurship portfolio councillor, Lew Brennan, will open the event, to be held at Beerwah District and Community Hall, adjacent to the library, from 8am (for 9am start) until 5pm on Friday 5 August. Cr Brennan is also a farmer and a student of Biodynamics through Steiner Agriculture.

"Joel Salatin has brilliant ideas, which will always find an audience here on the Sunshine Coast," he said.

"His approach reflects much of what we are striving for as we prepare council’s draft Rural Futures strategy.

"We can always learn more, and this visit is a great opportunity for our region to do that.

"I am looking forward to meeting him and introducing him on the day."

For interviews, bookings, etc contact Kym Kruse at RegenAG on 4086 8019 or 0447 054 466 or visit www.RegenAG.com