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16 Rugby Farms – Horticulture and changes in farming practice

[music] My name is Matt Hood. I’m part of the Rugby Farm business. We’re
located in Gatton in Queensland. I farm with my father David and my brother Dan, and a large team of dedicated staff. I was born and bred here in Gatton and my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather
have all farmed this particular farm – so it’s been here for many generations. We started farming with draft horses
here and it’s certainly a completely different operation as to what one
man can achieve in a tractor today compared to what was being done 50 and 60 years ago. Rugby Farm produces or grows just
over 12,000 acres of vegetables each year through the 12 crops that we grow. Because we’re exposed and dealing
with Mother Nature every day, but just up and down reacting to what she does for us. So, let’s say it’s very exciting, very reactive, and there’s not too many dull
moments in this industry. There’s a lot of technology changes
so we’re starting to see a lot more opportunities for younger people
to be involved in agribusiness. Part of one of those changes in the
horticultural industry has been about what we can grow and what we can sell. So the old days a farmer used to
grow what he could and what suited his environment, whereas today basically
that’s being driven from the other end. It’s more about what a farmer can
sell is determining what he can grow. Obviously, determining a market and
having good customers is extremely important doing the agribusiness today. We have a very strong and large
relationship with Coles Supermarkets. Effectively 70% to 80% of everything
we do goes to Coles Supermarkets. Anyone in this industry has to be very passionate, so we all have a very strong
association and love what we’re doing. It can be challenging at some times
but it’s also just being out there, being able to grow crops,
providing healthy food for people of Australia – there’s nothing
more rewarding than that. [music]

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