Introducing Madie Hamilton. Madie is one of the most inspirational young farmers in Australia. Her young career has taken her all over the world and when she’s not busy at her day job in the city, she works with her dad George, from ‘Meroo Hills’ near Mudgee, NSW. Madie’s story is the 50th I have shared this year in my quest to feature a farmer a week to celebrate the Australian Year of the Farmer.
Summary of our family & farming enterprise
The Hamilton Family has had a long connection with the land. Our property, “Meroo Hills” is located 28kms outside of Mudgee, rural NSW. In the past we have run a Dohne Sheep Stud, however these days we are going down the value added path with our quality farm fresh lamb. This is our story…
Farmer George is a family owned and operated company that supplies quality farm fresh lamb from our farm to family homes between Mudgee and Sydney. The story began in 2010, with George Hamilton (my father) having the vision of supplying quality fresh lamb to his friends and family. It has proved to be such a hit with Sydney-siders fed up with buying poor quality meat at their supermarket that George decided to expand operations and begin to deliver farm fresh meat to the wider area of Sydney and beyond.
Since 2010, the business has grown, with more and more people joining the ‘Friends of Farmer George‘ bandwagon. Our customers are discovering the quality of eating fresh from the farm and the enjoyment of knowing where their food comes from and who has produced it. We love having the first hand connection with our customers as well. It provides us with that extra bit of satisfaction from the hard work we put into the farm to supply these lambs.
I joined dad in the business in 2011 taking on the role of marketing our product through our website and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram). The business has really flourished since we started using social media to get the word out about our farm and our lamb. It’s a bit of fun and a good way for us to build our brand.
As well as working with Dad to build Farmer George, I work in Sydney as an Executive Officer of Marketing, Membership services, Events and Industry Liaison for The Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA). I work hard to achieve a valuable member service for our Members, running educational and social events across the country. I have also helped ALFA to achieve a strong social media presence. I thoroughly enjoy my role as it allows me to support Australian Farmers from the comfort of my city office. I love that the Agricultural Industry offers a diverse variety of careers from rural towns to capital cities and from farming to marketing and events! I’ve even made a few YouTube clips promoting the diversity of careers in agriculture, my most successful video aptly named “Dreams can come true in Agriculture”, you can view below.
What is the best lifestyle factor that you enjoy as a farmer?
For my Dad, it’s that his office is outside, his daily jobs are varied, and he has the chance to meet lots of different people, (at sales, field days etc.), He finds farming very satisfying and rewarding when it works (however, very frustrating when it doesn’t!).
For me, I love having the connection to agriculture and farming, however, not having to be restricted to living in a country town. I am fortunate enough to travel on occasion to farming localities and enjoy getting to meet some of the hard working farmers that I support in my role.
Of course, owning a lamb supply business and working in the red meat industry also has its perks of always having a great meal on the table!
What do you foresee as your biggest short term and long term challenges in farming?
Short term, it is the ability to supply the ever increasing demand for food and of course food security. The world is a hungry place and farmers will always need to be more and more efficient with all resources. As the pressure to produce more from less increases, we need to ensure we have thought very carefully about how we use our precious resources, and who owns them. Foreign ownership of Australian farming land might look like a good idea now, however have we thought through ALL the future consequences of this? I don’t think we have.
Long term and an ongoing challenge, it is the value people place on food. We are an obese nation due to poor nutrition amongst other factors. We need a national reform on education about food production, nutrition and associated topics. I believe you need to start at ground roots and it is time the nation was educated on these important issues. The population has the right to know where their food comes from, how it is produced, and how much it costs to produce.
What do you wish non-farmers & the Australian Government understood about farming?
I wish non-farmers and the Australian Government knew that food and fibre production is the livelihood of farmers. When it is taken away, so too is their livelihood.
I wish school kids knew about the huge career opportunities that are available and attainable in the agri-world.
You can contact Madie on via the links below. You can also see more of her fabulous video’s by going to her website.
My website: www.MadeleineHamilton.webs.com
Twitter: @FGMudgee @MPHHamilton