A farmer in a rural area in Australia’s southern state of Queensland has created a “millennial farmer” business that he hopes will grow the local economy by providing fresh food for consumers.
Tommy Laidlaw, owner of Fresh & Easy Farm in the town of Glenelg, says he is creating a “new type of farmer” who is passionate about food and who will make the farmers community a more vibrant place.
“We are trying to attract millennials and the next generation of people who want to farm and produce food for their families, to have the ability to share that with their neighbours, and to make a difference,” Mr Laidaw said.
He has also created a social media page that encourages customers to visit his store, which sells organic produce and fresh eggs.
Mr Laidaws farm produces about a third of its own food, but he is a big supporter of organic farming.
When he first started the business, he said he was initially sceptical of organic produce, but said he has now become a believer in it.
After growing his organic crop to about 30,000 litres, he is now selling the products to other farmers and to supermarkets and farmers markets.
There are many farmers in Queensland who are looking for opportunities to grow their businesses, but Mr Leddaw believes his product will appeal to those who want a more local, organic and sustainable approach to farming.
“The whole idea is to make it a bit more sustainable, because the farming is so important, but also a bit cheaper,” he said.
“The cost of producing is just so much higher.
It’s a lot more affordable to grow it on the land, on the soil, on your own land.”
Mr Parnell said it was the start of a movement for farmers to make their local community more viable.
“I think that the younger generation is not as supportive of their own country as they were in the past,” he added.
“There’s a growing trend in the US, and Australia is a great example of what that looks like.”
“I’m not going to be the one to make the change, but I think it’s the way to go.
We need more farmers and a new generation to grow this country.”
The store opened in June, and Mr Loyd says it is already making a difference in the community.
“It’s the kind of thing that just takes a few months to make real,” he told ABC Radio.
The business sells produce and organic eggs, and a lot of Mr Loyas customers are looking to purchase their own produce.
“When I see people buying organic eggs and milk, I see them in the supermarket and thinking, ‘I’m going to go and buy some’,” he said, adding that he wants to make this an experience that people can relate to.
“You’re going to want to go into the store and see it’s got the same atmosphere as you’d expect, the same people, the food’s the same and it’s all the same.”