After leaving the beauty that is Mount Tambourine, we headed down to the coast. The Gold Coast to be exact. We’d heard a lot about the Gold Coast from friends. We’ve heard of its’ beauty and the towering skyscrapers that line the coast. We decided to head down to Surfer’s Paradise while we had the chance to check it out for ourselves.
GOLD COAST: SURFER’S PARADISE
I haven’t ever been to the Caribbean (besides Jamaica) so I can’t compare beaches there. But hands down, Surfer’s Paradise was the prettiest beach I’ve ever been on. I am not a beach girl but I could have sat on this beach all day. The beautiful white, super fine sand, the warm pastel waters, the beach was long and the tide so beautifully made its way up and down the beach. Soaking it all in was such a treat.
We aren’t super into taking walks on the beach… I guess that isn’t our version of romance. But we did have to stop and put our toes in the sand.. The water was so warm, it was unbelievable. We spent some time wandering around Surfer’s Paradise as there is a TON of food and shopping. We enjoyed some amazing burgers, a little bit of a walk away, at Longboard’s Laidback Eatery and Bar. Seriously, check out that burger. It was amazing!
AUSTRALIAN SUMMER GRAINS CONFERENCE 2016
We then headed inland for the reason we trekked quite literally across the world. The Australian Summer Grains Conference had asked Mark to come and speak about growing sunflowers. It was truly an honor to be invited and even more of an honor to watch my dear husband speak about something he is so clearly passionate about growing.
I will try and sum up in words the conference. But for a woman of as many words as I, I am at a loss on how to sum it up. There’s a saying I commonly hear in Agriculture and that is “it is the people who make this industry great.” And Australia is no exception, there are some incredible people in Agriculture over there. People who are down to earth and as genuine as they come.
If there is one thing that I walked away from that conference with, it is this. One of the reasons I love traveling so much is that it expands my worldview. It allows me to think about agriculture well beyond our own farm.
While I’m so thankful to for all the awesome people in Agriculture in the United States, we had an amazing time being able to meet farmers, researchers, agronomists, and other industry professionals. We’ve been given an inside look into all the incredible work Australia is doing for Agriculture. We got to learn about crops, field trials, agronomy centers, fertilizer plants, and even a hay export center in Australia.
So while they may be a world away from us, they also play an important role in providing this world with the food and fiber necessary. And the truly amazing thing to me, is that they strive towards many of the same goals we are here in the United States. Sometimes we think of this struggle in Agriculture as a United States thing, but attending the Australian Summer Grains Conference opened the worldview to me that agriculture is a struggle across the world.
They, too, struggle with sharing the story that is Agriculture to an ever disconnected consumer marketplace. They, too, struggle with many of the same struggles we do on our farms. The trials we face as an industry aren’t limited to our continent or our nation only. Good people across the world face the same trials we do, maybe on a different level or scale, but they still face trials. I can’t tell you how comforting it is to know that there are people just like us out there producing the crops we all depend on, even if they are halfway across the world. And I feel it is so important as an industry looking to provide for the world, we recognize that.
We had an awesome stay at Royal Pines Resort while at the conference. The Australian Summer Grains committee put on a fantastic conference! We partook in some sorghum beer (which I enjoyed immensely, the hubby not so much) and lots of great conversations. I fell in LOVE with the beauty that is grain sorghum. Just wait until you see the photos I took out in the field! We also ran into a fellow American there. Props to all of you who recognize him, Chad Colby of Colby AgTech!
A huge thanks goes out to the Australian Sunflower Association for having us and for all their wonderful hospitality both at the conference and the days following the conference. The next couple days we spent exploring all Australian agriculture in the area has to offer! It was incredible.
So the next update will take us all across the Darling Downs, the Salad Bowl of Australia, to all sorts of farms and even some sorghum harvest!