Kerry farmers welcome Agriculture Minister to Tommerup's Dairy

AG FUTURES: Dave and Kay Tommerup stopped for an ice cream break with Minister Furner. Photo: Supplied
AG FUTURES: Dave and Kay Tommerup stopped for an ice cream break with Minister Furner. Photo: Supplied

STATE agriculture minister Mark Furner was at Kerry today, spending some time at Tommerup's dairy.

Kay Tommerup said the group had a good discussion about agritourism, value adding and Ms Tommerup's role as #eatqld ambassador.

"As an #eatqld ambassador, I'm fortunate to have contact with Minister Furner and his team to discuss any ideas or concerns we might have around agritourism/agriculture and helping to spread the message to consumers," she said.

"It's been a while since the Minister has visited our farm, so it was great to be able to show the improvements we've made including the addition of the creamery, share some of our future plans for the farm and hand around some of our ice creams for taste testing.

"I'm looking forward to working with Minister Furner and the DAF team to further grow the eatqld message in the region.

"It was terrific to meet the incoming DAF director general Bob Gee and DAF acting regional director Andrew Langford as well.

"Their level of understanding and enthusiasm for agriculture and agritourism, and recognition of the important role they play in Qld's economy was really encouraging.

"There's a lot happening in this space and DAF is clearly wanting to encourage farmers to think outside the square in terms of product markets and new opportunities."

Mr Furner was accompanied by Bob Gee from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

A spokesman for the minister said he was there to discuss the Palaszczuk government's $2 million commitment to growing agri-tourism as part of the Queensland's economic recovery from Covid-19.

'The Minister has been visiting key producers across the Scenic Rim this week including beekeepers, cheesemakers and winemakers," the spokesman said.

"He also visited the Drynans at their Rathdowney turf farm who received a First Start Loan in 2018 through the Primary Industry Productivity Enhancement Scheme (PIPES) through QRIDA.

"These low-interest loans give eligible producers like the Drynans a leg up to buy their first farming enterprise.

"Before coming to government the PIPES program was capped at $60 million a year- the Palaszczuk government has increased that to $100 million. And next year the PIPES scheme will increase to $120 million."

The group also enjoyed dinner at the Railway Hotel on Brisbane Street, joined by Jo Martin and Rob Dewar from Queensland Beekeepers Association.