The Growcom team was pleased to attend the Lockyer Valley Growers Gala Dinner in Gatton on Saturday night, presented by Terranova Seeds and Withcott Seedlings.
The annual dinner, which was attended by more than 420 guests, is an important social event for the region and a real credit to the organisation.
The grower-association was formed after the devastating floods of 2011 and 2013, which highlighted a weakening of community bonds over time. There was a need for the horticulture industry to work together and support each other instead of viewing each other purely as competitors.
The success of the dinner and the spirit of camaraderie which infused the room last week suggests that mission has been accomplished.
The Lockyer Valley is a national treasure with the seventh-most fertile soil in the world, growing vegetables that are sent to markets in all major Australian cities. A unique combination of climatic attributes means that pest populations in the area are naturally low. It also has the important benefit of being only an hour from the key population centre of Brisbane.
The region is not without its challenges, however, and it is important that water management is conducted appropriately to ensure the valley can continue to be a premier food-growing region into the future.
As an industry, agriculture is very good at singing to choir rather than showcasing its key role in maintaining food security to the wider population.
Those of us working in agriculture have the ongoing task of promoting areas like the Lockyer Valley and highlighting their importance to the Queensland economy.
In attending the gala dinner, it was very gratifying to meet lots of young growers and female industry participants, overturning the cliché of the old man in the Akubra and riding boots.
Growcom would like to congratulate the organisers of the dinner along with the Lockyer Valley Growers Management Committee.
Growcom will continue to work with the Lockyer Valley Growers Association through the Queensland Horticulture Council to ensure that government at all levels gets the policy settings right for Queensland horticulture.