Felton Produce Q & A Tent

The Q & A Tent is your chance to meet the locals – they’re an affable and approachable lot who are proud of their region and the wonderful produce they supply.... as you will be at the end of the day.

Our friendly famers, experts and the odd celebrity will provide working examples and remarkable insights to educate us on the paddock to plate connection of the grains and produce coming out of the Felton Valley.

Here are some of the features in 2017:

Climate - Sid Plant (local farmer), Rob McCreath (local farmer). David Mcrae's research interests include climate variability and change, climate risk management, agriculture and primary production systems, and the impact of drought.

Horticulture - Alan Richards (local farmer), Jason Huggins (local farmer), MC: Costa Georgiadis, Gardening Australia

Bread > from paddock to plate - Pernille Berg Larsen (baker), Hugh Reardon-Smith (agronomist), Murray Todd (local farmer)

Precision Agriculture - Dr Alison McCarthy (USQ), Andrew Green (local farmer). Dr McCarthy's research interests include the application of mechatronic engineering and machine vision to agriculture, imaging spectrometry and aerial photography.

The Science of Beef - TBC, Andrew O'Neil (local farmer)

Food & Health - Dr Lindsay Brown (USQ), Ruth Logan (dietician). Prof Brown's research interests include functional foods for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, arthritis, kidney failure; cardiovascular and endocrine pharmacology.

Hugh Reardon-Smith

Hugh is a senior agronomist with Landmark Pittsworth, advising growers on the full range of grain, pulse and oilseed crops grown on a broadacre scale across the Eastern Downs, both dryland and under irrigation.

Hugh has been secretary of the Friends of Felton group since its inception in 2008 and is secretary of the Felton Food Festival executive.

Rob McCreath

Rob McCreath grows mixed crops and beef cattle with his wife Sally in the Felton Valley.

They came here 22 years ago from Scotland, where they had a dairy farm. They practice zero tillage and controlled traffic cropping.

Rob is the current president of Friends of Felton and a campaigner for the protection of farmland, action on climate change and deployment of renewable energy.

Ruth Logan - Accredited Practising Dietitian

Ruth has been practising dietetics in our local region since 1991and has previously worked in her Private Practice - EatWise4Life. Ruth is a past board member and National President of Sports Dietitians Australia, and author of publications on Feeding Active Kids.

Her passion is to enhance the health and performance of all Australians, especially the Over 50 age group since she joined this esteemed group. She hopes to clarify some of the confusion created by the current nutrition information overload. Ruth is currently employed as a corporate health program manager for Live Well Australia and consultant dietitian to the Optimise Allied Health group.

Jason Huggins

Jason and Vicki Huggins have been the owners of Felton Valley Organics since 2002 and are Felton Food Festival's neighbours. Jason is a fourth-generation vegetable farmer with qualifications in horticulture. He is quick to tell you the real learning occurs when you try and grow a commercial organic crop. The family name has been involved with the organics industry since the late 1980s. Jason and Vicki rely on dedicated staff to assist with their business. They currently supply a range of Certified Organic vegetables and grain to local wholesalers, with product flowing through to independent stores and supermarkets.

Dr Alison McCarthy

Dr Alison McCarthy is a research engineer at the University of Southern Queensland’s National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture, developing robotic systems to improve productivity for agriculture. She researches how to use automation to sense soil and crops, determine irrigation requirement and then automatically apply the irrigation requirement. She is currently working on cotton, dairy pasture, sugarcane and horticulture irrigation systems in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and New Zealand.

Murray Todd

Murray and his wife Ann have lived and farmed at Dalkeith, Cambooya since 1981. They grow cereal crops, cotton, sunflowers onions and beef cattle.

Andrew Green

Andrew was raised on a cropping and feedlotting farm at Warra before studying Agricultural Engineering at USQ. He has worked across Australia in various roles with the Department of Agriculture, Kondinin Group and National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture. In 2005, he commenced employment with John Deere as a test engineer, evaluating precision agriculture components before they become commercial products. Together with wife, Vicki, and their three sons, Andrew has expanded his farming enterprise to nearly 1,100 acres and has purchased an awful lot of green machinery! Andrew is in an ideal position to test new developments in mechanisation and provide practical feedback to manufacturers.

Tracy Longhurst

Senior Technical Officer, Department of Agricultural & Fisheries

Tracy has been involved in the cattle industry the majority of her career, starting out as a Jillaroo before taking on the position of Livestock Costing Officer at the Murgon Abattoir. In 2002 she commenced her career within the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) as a Beef Technical Officer at Brian Pastures Research Facility before undertaking the Research Facility Manager's position in 2007. She has been based at the DAF Toowoomba offices for the past two years working on beef genetics research and within the Grazing BMP program. Tracy will be speaking in the Science of Beef and Lamb session. 

Pernille Berg Larsen

Pernille Berg Larsen lives by the mantra of keeping things simple. Author and teacher in sourdough baking, she is passionate about spreading her message of how wholesome family food can be simple and fun to prepare. Pernille runs baking sessions where she shares her passion for breadmaking. During the session you will find out that is not difficult to make your own bread and discover how easy it is to make sourdough bread - you just need know how to make and maintain a good sourdough starter.

Sid Plant

Sid Plant is a fifth-generation cattle farmer who is passionate about sharing his vision for a climate-safe farming future. His 3000 acre property, ‘Samarai’, is situated in the Darling Downs region of Queensland.

Sid and his family have not only pioneered new sustainable research practices in coping with climate change, but also how to best apply climate science and forecasting to agricultural planning.

He has won several awards for his work in communicating climate issues, and has given hundreds of talks on climate change (‘Climate Change in a Nutshell’) and its relevance to agriculture to both local and international audiences. These include presentations at Climate Change in Agriculture conferences hosted by the United Nations and The World Meteorological Organisation.