"He was born to be a farmer.
He was given a life, an alchemist
that worked in dirt, seed and manure." - Tracey Winegar

Honest Farming

When you visit Forbes Farms take the time to learn more about 'Honest Farming', a principled based approach to farming, cultivating one of the world's most abundant and nutritious food baskets. Honest Farming means farming in a close partnership with nature with a loving hand from Forbes farmers.

Honest Farmers believe in a wholesome, high in nature and low in intervention approach to farming. Honest farming produces food with natural integrity and minimal artificial intervention to provide affordable and wholesome food to Australian families.

Forbes is a prolific farming region producing enough grains, fruit, vegetables and honey to feed hundreds of thousands of people every year. The fertile soils of the Lachlan Valley, the abundance of arable land and good rainfall provide the perfect setting to practice Honest Farming.

Honest Farming changes across the changing landscapes of Forbes. The flat plains of Forbes are better suited to cereal growing while the hill torn country, which is more rugged with rocks and pine trees, is better suited to cattle. Australia is home to the world's most efficient farmers and Forbes is in the top three most productive farm regions in Australia. When you visit Forbes you will meet some of the world's most productive and ingenious farmers.

Being blessed with purity from industrial and city based pollutants, abundant flood plains, fertile black and red soils and a continental climate Honest Farming comes naturally to the people of Forbes.

Forbes is not only prolific in its farming produce it produces some of the purest and most nutritious food in the world. Great farming practices and pristine farming land make the Forbes food basket a great contributor to the world's health and well being.

Forbes Honest Farming has a register of Honest Farmers who remain committed to nine key principles:

  1. Extensive farming - farming that is in balance with nature
  2. Low intervention - light to nil chemical usage
  3. Sustainable farming - sustainable economic and environmental indicators
  4. Environmental Purity - land that is maintained in its 'close to natural' state
  5. Farm Gate branding - transparency of the source of our food
  6. Honesty in Labelling - genuine health, social and environmental credentials of produce
  7. Animal welfare - looking after the health and well being of farm animals
  8. Nutritious farming - farming with health and well being nutrition in mind
  9. Innovation - the relentless search for a better way, continually raising the bar

Small Farms less viable

Smaller farmers are less viable in today's marketplace, the cost of machinery and the economies of scale, mean smaller farmers are exiting the land. The cost of machinery for grain the cost of a shed for sheep sets a barrier of entry that only the productive larger farmers can overcome. While farms are more extensive today, Forbes still maintains a high percentage of Farmer owned and operated farms. In neighbouring regions to Forbes, corporations have taken over from family owned farms. The high family ownership of Forbes Honest Farms have often been passed down for three or more generations, making Forbes a rich and warm rural community steeped in tradition and a strong attachment to their land.

Diversity is Key

Many Honest Farmers face boom and bust cycles for their produce from year to year. In Forbes natural factors such as rainfall have a big impact on the economic livelihood of the community. To better ride the uncertainty of economic and climatic cycles farmers in Forbes practice diversity. It is common to meet a farmer who has wool, wheat and beef farms. The diversity gives the Honest Farmer a smoother cash flow so when one produce price is down they have the chance to trade in another.

Some farming areas have not survived the changes in farming and market conditions. Since the 1950's Forbes has lost its market gardens, its smaller dairies and some of its wool graziers. Today local vegetables are only grown in kitchen gardens, large more profitable dairy farms have taken over from smaller farms.