This lit­tle piggy

The Sey­mour Al­ter­na­tive Farm­ing Expo opened its gates on Fri­day. Crowds flocked to the three-day event, as young and old came to see what was new and dif­fer­ent in agri­cul­ture and farm­ing. It was a fun week­end out for all ages, with Kings Park turned into

Shepparton News - Country News - - FRONT PAGE - Coun­try News re­porter ALANA CHRIS­TENSEN and pho­tog­ra­pher HOLLY CUR­TIS were busy at the expo on Fri­day.

. . . Amanda Loli­cato, from Barham, cra­dles a four­month-old Duroc pig named Willba at Farmer Darryl’s An­i­mal Farm on the open­ing day of the Sey­mour Al­ter­na­tive Farm­ing Expo on Fri­day.

A pas­sion for wood . . . Ed­die Free­man from Ross, Tas­ma­nia has finely honed the art of chain­saw carv­ing over 35 years, with his ca­reer in the tim­ber in­dus­try pro­vid­ing him with some use­ful prac­tice. ‘‘We were trained to cut out lit­tle chairs, which helped you learn about con­trol,’’ he says. As his ex­pe­ri­ence has grown, he’s be­come more knowl­edge­able about the wood and to know ex­actly where to cut to achieve the re­quired shape. It takes Mr Free­man just un­der an hour to carve an ea­gle, and after com­ing to the Sey­mour expo, his pas­sion for wood has only grown.

Fleece fit for a king . . . Al­paca farmer Hans Van Pop­pel started rais­ing al­pacas as a retirement hobby, but has fallen in love with the an­i­mal. The an­i­mals are very low main­te­nance, once trained, he says, and have be­come well known for their fleece. ‘‘They used to call it ‘Fleece of the Gods’ in Peru. Only kings were al­lowed to wear al­paca fleece.’’ After stum­bling across one at an agri­cul­tural show a num­ber of years ago, Mr Van Pop­pel and his wife Chris­tine have grown their herd from just two al­pacas to more than 70.

Is that one hump or two? . . . Chris Wil­liams from Camel Milk Vic­to­ria, based in Kyabram, with a drom­e­dary camel. The busi­ness has re­turned to the expo for its third year run­ning and Mr Wil­liams says he loves to show­case his camels. ‘‘They’re quite gen­tle, they have a quiet na­ture and are very in­tel­li­gent and af­fec­tion­ate.’’ The com­pany, which rears wild camels for milk­ing, was the first li­censed camel dairy in Vic­to­ria and cre­ates a va­ri­ety of prod­ucts, in­clud­ing camel milk soap.

Lit­tle boy loves big boys’ toys . . . Four-year-old John Gip­son from Sey­mour has a pas­sion for ma­chin­ery and en­joyed cud­dling up to a Kioto trac­tor with back­hoe.‘‘He is so into trac­tors, so this is heaven for him,’’ mum Shelly said. ‘‘He loves ex­ca­va­tors.’’ John’s pas­sion has sparked the fam­ily’s in­ter­est in the Sey­mour expo, go­ing along to check out the ma­chin­ery, while also mak­ing a stop at the chil­dren’s area and an­i­mals along the way.

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