How long have you been farming?
Since I was big enough to drive machinery! Officially, I left school in 1982 and started with my father then.
Where is your farm located and how big is it?
The original home block is in the Felton East area and is 182 hectares. I have also purchased a neighboring farm, which is 168 hectares and is across the road from the festival site and share farm for two neighbours which is an extra 56 hectares.
What do you farm?
I grow wheat and barley in winter and sorghum, corn and mungbeans in summer.
How many people work on your farm?
Just myself at the moment, with help from my wife and kids.
What do you like most about farming?
I love trying to create an environment in the soil where the seeds you plant can grow to their fullest. We have no control over the weather so this is one of the few things we can do to the best of our ability.
What is your least favourite part of farming?
Watching a crop that had the potential to be well above average be devastated by drought or flood.
What is one key change you have seen take place in farming over your years in the industry?
The evolution of zero/minimum tillage has changed the face of farming, helping to control our moisture and stubble content in our soil - leading also to precision farming with minimal disturbance planters and GPS guidance.
What challenges do you see for farming in the future?
The weather is always an over riding factor - if you get the wrong weather at the wrong time it can ruin a crop. We are also always price takers not price makers so local and world markets play heavily on what we get for our product. I also worry that we are losing our family farms as it is hard for future generations to stay on the farm. Foreign investment is also a concern; we are losing our best land to overseas buyers so they can sure up their future while we may lose ours.
What opportunities do you see for farming in the future?
As the world population rises, countries will rely more heavily on farmers than ever before. We have very little high quality farming land so we need to look after it and nourish it so we can provide food and fibre for future generations.
Why do you like being involved in the Felton Food Festival?
My family has been in the Felton area for six generations now and its wonderful to be able to show others what we can achieve.
Why should people come to the Festival?
We want people from urban areas to see the beautiful and bountiful land that is just at their doorstep, and show them what it has to offer. This precious land can not be reproduced. If people see where and how food and fibre is produced they will understand why it is so vital for our future.