THE Seymour Alternative Farming Expo always gives visitors the opportunity to meet animals they might never have encountered before.
Event manager Susie Filleti said a visit to the expo had changed the course of many people’s lives by introducing them to animals that would capture their hearts and imaginations.
“Many dreams of a tree-change have become reality after a visit to the expo,” Susie said.
That’s exactly what happened when Ann and Rod Sales visited the event more than two decades ago.
Looking for a change of scenery, it was here they found alpacas and swapped city life for the countryside.
“We came from the suburbs and it’s a great way to find an alternative to living in the city,” Mrs Sales said.
“We bought 16ha and had to work out what to do with it.”
After buying five alpacas, Davidalla Farm Alpacas was born and has become a regular expo exhibitor.
Susie said alpacas had become an icon of the expo over the years.
“Lots of people have fallen in love with the gentle animals here and decided to take up alpaca farming,” she said.
A new visitor to the expo this year is the Victorian Brumby Association.
“People expect wild behaviour from a wild horse, but we don’t get that when they’re trained correctly,” Victorian Brumby Association president Colleen O’Brien said.
“They’re sweet and they love to be around people.”
The association has rescued about 500 brumbies in the past decade, rehabilitating, training and rehoming them, many going into trail riding and riding clubs.
Demonstrations on brumby versatility will be held on the main oval each day and a talk on owning brumbies and capitalising on their versatility will be presented in the learning hub on Friday.
Susie said the expo was an opportunity to get acquainted with many out-of-the-ordinary animals.
“Unusual breeds of sheep and cattle are always a popular feature of the expo,” she said.
“This year there will be Wiltshire Horn and Dorset Down sheep, Red and Black Angus, Belted Galloway and Highland cattle and dairy goats.”
A full listing of site holders and program of events is available online and in the official event guide, which will be available at the event.
The Seymour Alternative Farming Expo will be held this weekend from February 15 to 17, at Kings Park in Seymour.
For further information or to buy tickets online and save 17 per cent off the gate price, visit seymourexpo.com.au