Gardening Australia’s host, Costa Georgiadis received a very warm welcome when he visited the Bingara Living Classroom and dam rejuvenation project on Tuesday.
Already very welcome at the facility, Mr. Georgiadis further impressed the crowd when he stated the future of agriculture is firmly with farmers and food production.
A mixture of local people and visitors to town took part in the Living classroom inspection. “This sort of facility is one of the most exciting projects I get to see,” Mr. Georgiadis said.
Glen Pereira, Francis Young & Garry McDouall with gardening guru, Costa Georgiadis.
In his introduction, Living Classroom committee member, Rick Hutton, spoke about how the Living classroom was instigated and evolved.
“We need to bring the school kids here, to see these things if we are going to grow farmers for the future,” Mr. Georgiadis said.
“It starts in our schools, and to bring them to a purpose built facility like this, I don’t care whether you are left, right, red, green, blue it doesn’t matter, this cuts across all boundaries. The fact that it is bringing in a university reminds me of an organisation I am involved with, out of Charles Sturt University at Albury, it is only one of two United Nations regional centres for expertise.
“Everything that Rick mentioned was a mirror of what this centre is about down at Albury and what you guys are doing here, and that is bringing in the community at all stages to showcase but at the same time evolve and develop a living working educational hub.
“It does not get any better than this. I can talk or Powerpoint till the cows come home, but as any of you from the land probably know, rural education 15 to 25 years ago, was through farm field days.
“The way people learn is by walking a swale, or walking through and observing a landscape.”
Mr. Georgiadis said the “biggest leg on my stool” is the future of food.
“At the end of the day, all of this is about the future of food, and we are all connected with that.
“Whether we are an elder or a junior, the more we bring these two ends of the paradigm together, the better the outcomes will be because the future for our country is in agriculture, it is in food.
“When we embrace that, not only will we feed the world but we will build career pathways off the back of a place like this sort of facility, building hunger, and interest, that mongrel desire to get in and put farmers at the top of the list.
“Ultimately this is about putting farming and enterprise farming as a career pathway; farmers as price makers, not price takers, changing the paradigm.
“We can do it through education, and the fact that you have this facility out of the ground.
“I am very excited to be here”, Mr. Georgiadis said going on to acknowledge the work of Gwydir Landcare and the LLS, all the while, chomping at the bit to go for a walk around the facility."