February 27, 2020 Sharon Purcell

Thursday, 27 February 2020
CELEBRITY chef and well-known personality, Matt Golinski will prepare a very special BBQ for local farmers in Warwick on Friday, March 6.
Organised by the Rural Financial Counselling Service SQ (RFCSSQ) to improve the mood of farmers struggling with drought and drought recovery, the ‘Farmers Feed’ will be held at the showgrounds and registrations are free.
Local produce selected by the popular chef, has been sourced for the event which is designed to showcase regional tastes.
“I love any opportunity to head out into the country and meet farmers, see what makes their region special and get the chance to cook their produce.”
“As a cook I rely on having great produce to feed my customers.”
Matt acknowledged the challenges faced by Queensland farming communities and made particular mention of the local area.
“I have the utmost respect for the resilience and passion of farming families.”
“Warwick and the surrounding region has a lot to offer, and I’m hoping to get a chance to visit some farms while I’m in town.”
Charleville based, RFCSSQ chair, Karen Tully will be attending the event.
“The agricultural sector is worth around $13 billion a year to Queensland.
“The impact of a long term drought and the recovery phase afterwards is financial, physical and emotional and we need events that farmers can get together, talk amongst themselves and relax away from the demands of their businesses.”
The Warwick area has been severely impacted by the most recent drought which has forced extensive State and Federal government support.
An AgForce drought survey in 2018 revealed farmers face the loss of half their annual income in a ‘normal’ drought.
The impacts of the 2018/2019 drought which has been described in media as the ‘worst drought in the history of Australia’ is still being gauged but in some cases, farmers have lost their entire annual income for a number of years.
As the drought is replaced by welcome rainfall, the logistics of rebuilding can be overwhelming.
“Honestly, sometimes we seem to go from one extreme to the other when it comes to weather but the rural industry has seen it all before,” said Karen, “and even though we know what needs to be done, the financial impost on struggling businesses needs careful management.”
Matt Golinski believes consumers can be more appreciative of what goes into producing the food they buy.
“Everyone needs to travel to the country and get to know their farmers.”
“Once people have a picture of what’s involved, they develop so much more respect for what they put in their mouths.”
The Rural Financial Counselling Service SQ plays a vital role in the support of rural Queensland.
“We provide free, independent, confidential, mobile financial counselling to struggling farmers and small businesses in rural and regional Southern Queensland.
That includes referrals to Government departments and programs, assistance with lender negotiations, the preparation of financial documents and financial literacy.
“The main message for everyone is to seek help if applying for government assistance like the Farm Household Allowance, don’t self assess.”
Registrations can be made at on the events registration tab or by calling 07 46225 500.