Maitland’s fresh food revolution is gaining momentum with the Hunter River Agricultural and Horticultural Society joining the ranks to bring the fastest-growing inland city back to its roots.
The society will deliver an agriculture-focused Maitland Show in February – the first that the city has seen in decades.
It will bring a paddock to plate theme to the masses with a focus to educate the region, and especially children, about life on the land and where their food comes from.
The experience will give children access to a range of agricultural pursuits in one venue.
They’ll be able to milk a goat, milk a cow, learn how to shear a sheep, and find out how their vegetables are grown.
They’ll also be able to ask a lot of questions.
Imagine the flow-on effects.
Each child that experiences the agricultural side of the show will come to understand the choices they will have as adults.
Some of them may even become our next generation of farmers, or politicians in Macquarie Street or Canberra who will stand up for the future of agriculture.
If four-year-old Lola Omotosho’s reaction to her introduction to agriculture is anything to go by, the show is sure to be a big hit.
Lola, who has moved to Australia with her family from London, took her first steps on a sheep property in Lorn on Thursday for our photoshoot.
At first she was very cautious and unsure of the sheep, but she soon warmed to the flock – especially the baby lambs.
Within half an hour she had fed three baby lambs with a bottle and held two others in her arms. She gave them a big cuddle.
The expression on her face said it all. She absolutely loved it and she had a bunch of questions about them afterwards.
The show’s return to agriculture will build on the work already done by the team who has created the Maitland produce markets.
That venture has undoubtedly proved that Maitland people – and shoppers from across the region – value farmers and freshly picked local produce. They want to keep farmers on the land by paying a fair price for their food.
What we have achieved together in such a short space of time is remarkable, and it’s a testament to our character as Maitland people. We get things done.
If we continue to work together we will create massive change in our community and we will all help to ensure that agriculture has a sustainable future in our region.