Latest News

From paddock to plate - NMIT puts the meat into alternative farming expo

29 Jan 2010

Following the successful launch of the “Ag Zone” at last year's Seymour Alternative Farming Expo (SAFE), NMIT, a major sponsor of the event, will this year expand its program to include The Butcher's Shop.

The NMIT Butcher's Shop will feature a series of demonstrations by the Institute's instructors in meat processing, food preparation and cookery. The Butcher's Shop program will run alongside NMIT's comprehensive seminar program, a three-day learning event which includes sessions on topics as diverse as the management of small cattle enterprises, plantings for bushfire-prone areas and the value of dung beetles in the 'recycling' of animal manure.

At the Butcher's Shop, learn how to identify different cuts of meat and watch our chefs use them to create delicious recipes. Experts like NMIT culinary coordinator, Andrew Shepherd will use local produce to show visitors how to prepare and cook cuts of pork, venison, goat and lamb to create fantastic flavours. There will also be sausage making demonstrations and lessons on food preparation. Each day NMIT will host a fun cook-off segment featuring chefs from local restaurants preparing dishes to be judged by the audience.

“The Butcher's Shop will give visitors the opportunity to learn how to use every piece of the carcass. Anyone interested in the creative preparation, cooking and presentation of meat dishes using local produce will benefit from these demonstration sessions,” says Associate Director of NMIT's Faculty of Earth Sciences, Wayne Pappin.

The Butcher's Shop will be located next to the NMIT Ag Zone, a precinct offering the latest agricultural and related products and services in a “one-stop shop”. Here, NMIT experts will deliver seminars and practical demonstrations aimed at people interested in alternative farming practices or a career in the rural sector.

NMIT staff will also be on hand to answer queries and provide information about the Institute's primary industry courses at the Faculty of Earth Sciences display site. There will be a number of interactive displays within the Ag Zone including a mechanical horse, and sections on aquaculture and hydroponics. A children's activity area, themed around the care of animals, will be open on Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to speakers selected from NMIT's expert academic staff, the seminar program will feature speakers from organisations like the Goat Breeders' Association of Australia and the Australian Lowline Cattle Society. Throughout the three day event, Seymour Agricultural and Pastoral Society will conduct livestock demonstrations in the NMIT Ag Zone precinct, incorporating the handling, management and basic healthcare of cattle, alpacas and horses.

“The program includes something for everyone involved in or interested in owning and operating a small holding; there are even presentations on basic chainsaw maintenance and choosing the right poultry breed,” said Wayne Pappin.

The program at the NMIT Butcher's Shop will run from 10am to 4pm during each day of the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo. The NMIT Seminar program will start at 11am daily.

More Information download the NMIT Seminar Program

What: “The Butcher Shop” at the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo
Where: King's Park, Tallarook Street, Seymour
When: 10am - 4pm 19, 20, 21 February 2009

Seymour Alternative Farming Expo (SAFE) Facts at a glance

• SAFE established in 1991.

• Now the most successful event of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.

• The Expo focuses on advances in agronomy, animal husbandry, bio genetics and communications with an emphasis on alternative livestock and cropping enterprises.

• Leading edge technology in small to medium farm machinery, implements and building systems (home and farm) is featured at SAFE.

• SAFE has a strong lifestyle focus including food growing and preparation.

• The Expo currently attracts about 35,000 visitors over three days.

• The event includes approximately 600 exhibitors.


Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.