Entertainer, educator and advocate - George the Farmer is the children’s character with a skyrocketing profile, and he’ll soon be visiting our region for the Moree on a Plate Food and Wine Festival.
A life-size, plush character, George will be conducting live performances in the Landcare Kids Korner at this year’s event, to be held on Saturday, May 12, with singing, dancing, photo opportunities and giveaways all part of his repertoire.
The brainchild of South Australian mother of three, Simone Kain and her business partner Ben Hood, George the Farmer was created after they identified that a children’s farming character was missing from the worldwide market.
“I was lying in bed with my then two and a half year old son, George, with a massive pregnant belly full of my twin boys, trying to find some fun farming apps and books to keep him entertained,” Simone recalls.
“He was obsessed with the farm and loved to help my husband, Justin, whenever he could, but the only products that I could find were American or English and used different terminology.
“It dawned on me that there was a great opportunity to start telling stories about Australian agriculture to inspire little farm kids across the country.”
And with one third of year six students believing yoghurt originates from a plant, George the Farmer has also become an important vehicle in educating children, and consumers, as to where their food comes from, and to appreciate farmers’ efforts, skill and time.
Since the interactive story app was first launched in 2014 picture books, CDs, toys, a stage show and curriculum-aligned teacher’s guides have followed.
As too have the accolades, with the performers having recently received a swag of awards including 2017 Agrifutures Rural Womens Award National Runner-up, Google Australia Regional Online Hero and NAB Women’s Rural Entrepreneur of the Year, to name a few.
Moree on a Plate will be George the Farmer’s first visit to the region, and Simone couldn’t be more thrilled.
“Moree has been on our list of places to visit for some time,” she said.
“The best part about travelling to different communities, is meeting the people who make them - We love seeing people who are passionate about where they live and finding out why.”
Self-described ‘foodies’, she said the team was also very much looking forward to sampling the delicious fare that is produced in the region.
“George has a lot of fans from the North West region and we just can’t wait to see them interacting, dancing and understanding the messages that we share about food and farming,” Simone said.
“We teach the children different aspects of food production, but our performance is also a very important vehicle to inspire kids to want to be involved in agriculture in their future.”
Moree on a Plate president Bethany Kelly said she was thrilled to welcome such a high caliber, national act to the festival.
“Our Kids Korner has become a major drawcard, ensuring a fun filled day for the whole family,” she said.
“The inclusion of George the Farmer is a huge coup and we can’t wait to introduce George to our local children.”
Mrs Kelly was also very grateful to Northern Slopes Landcare Association and the Regional Landcare Facilitator, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, for sponsoring George the Farmer.
Moree on a Plate will be held on Saturday, May 12 at The Moree Secondary College, and also features a delicious line-up of regional producers, celebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue and a smorgasboard of entertainment the whole family can enjoy.