Walking through Forrest Place in Perth, people stopped to hear trumpets playing magnificently in the Navy's Admiral Big Band. The lively beat attracted thousands of people who came to show support and try some of WA's finest produce. Parents and their children were able to meet some of Nigel's Incredible Creatures including goats, sheep, chickens, dogs and rabbits and join in on face painting as well as other fun activities.
Mrs Tonya McCusker, Mr Malcolm McCusker, Sara Wilson, Don Hancey. (from left). Taken by Lauren Sydoruk
Farming Champions, a group of WA women, organised the event Farmer on Your Plate in order to raise agricultural awareness for WA farmers and highlight the importance of Family Farming. The event recognised a wide selection of WA produce, important guest speakers and prominent West Australians who are also Farming Champions. The event in Perth attracted thousands of local and international visitors who were interested in learning more about Western Australian farmers and their produce.
The event hosted two of Western Australia's top chefs, Don Hancey and Chris Taylor of Frasier's Restaurant, who cooked up mouth watering WA produce for the visitors to enjoy, and gave some tips and tricks on how to cook the perfect meat. The public enjoyed the incredibly flavoursome and tender meat that was served on the day, which was provided by Jilakin Downs Dorpers, Gimlet Grove Dorper Lamb, Beaufort River Meats and White Dorpers, Kulin.
Nigel Spencer and Mrs Tonya McCusker. (from left). Taken by Lauren Sydoruk
Speaking at the event, Farming Champion Mary Nenke, a Kukerin-based farmer, welcomed and congratulated the public on participating in something that is extremely important to Western Australia. Her words were very impacting and emotional as she spoke about the decline in Western Australian farmers and the ongoing agriculture issues across the state. Her speech was absorbed by thousands of visitors, who may have not realised the ongoing suffering for Western Australian farmers.
There was great WA produce that supported the Farming Champions on the day including Gimlet Grove, Loose Leaf Lettuce Company, and Cabinnata Gourmet Australian Yabbies, who contributed by handing out free samples of produce to the visitors. The variety of different produce intrigued the public and opened their eyes to what Western Australia can offer.
Mr Malcolm McCusker speaking at Farmer on Your Plate 2014. Taken by Lauren Sydoruk.
His Excellency Governor Mr Malcolm McCusker was an official patron of the event and delivered a very informative speech, which addressed agriculture issues for Western Australian farmers. He says: "Farmers have to be resourceful, they have to be skilful, and they have to be resilient. It's a sad statement of affairs also that there is a very high rate of suicides amongst farmers in the isolated areas and efforts have to be made to overcome that." Mr McCusker also spoke about the advantages of Western Australian farming and how it contributes to the state. He says: "our farming produce is acknowledged to be one of the cleanest and best produce in the world. We are producing in Australia, enough food each year to feed 80 billion people worldwide. So it's an enormous contribution to both the world, in terms of its need for food, and of course to our economy."
Governor Mr Malcolm McCusker, spoke directly to Western Australian farmers and to the public to describe how important our WA produce is and how we need to support the hand that feeds us. Throughout the day, Western Australian farmers took to the stage to share their thoughts and experiences on the agricultural issues, and their views on putting agriculture back on top of the political menu. Prominent West Australians attended the event including Crawford Taylor Rabobank, Alan Fisher, John Henchy, Martin Livsey and Scott Uppill.
Lindsay Tuckwell, Jane Mouritz, Sara Wilson, Mary Nenke, Mrs Tonya McCusker, Mr Malcolm McCusker, Jane Fuchsbichler, Maureen Dobra, Cate Rocchi, Cathie Kelly. (from left). Taken by Lauren Sydoruk
The event was an eye-opener for many visitors who did not understand the ongoing agricultural issues that were affecting our WA farmers. It made people appreciate how important WA produce is and how lucky we are to be able to have local suppliers.
Farmer on Your Plate 2014 was an ultimate success. Farming Champions succeeded in hosting the event that addressed political issues and raised awareness for our WA farmers. Farmer on Your Plate was a representation of what Western Australian farmers can produce and achieve. The immaculate produce that was received on the day allowed fellow Western Australians to show their support and celebrate the incredible produce that comes from our state.