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Meet Georgina Simson from The Plantation on the Liverpool Plains

The Simson Family Liverpool Plains
Ed, Fiona, Wallace, Georgina, Florence and Tom Simson at The Plantation by @sallyalden

We had the pleasure of interviewing Georgina Simson from The Plantation about her life on the family farm, travel and the enjoyment of opening their farm gate for the Liverpool Plains Sunflower Trail and most recently to private guided farm tours with Vintage Rail Journeys. Georgina is also the proud NSW Ambassador for Motherland Australia, a powerful podcast founded and led by Stephanie Trethewey sharing stories of rural motherhood and it’s also a charity that connects mums living in rural Australia through creating online mums groups, an absolute game changer giving our most rural and remote mums a village of support!

Tell us about your farm?

The Plantation has been home to The Simson Family since 1928 and has been home to 5 generations. The property is located on the southern/western side of The Liverpool Plains near to the small town of Premer. The Plantation is roughly 13 000 acres of mixed farming. Due to the high rainfall and fertile soils in the area the farm produces two crops a year. Winter crops include: Wheat, Barley, Chickpeas, Durum, Oats & Canola. Summer crops include: Cotton, Sorghum, Sunflowers & Mung Beans. As well as our busy cropping rotations The Plantation also trade beef cattle roughly turning over 1200 head a year. Our cattle operation consists of a variety of natural grasses & planted forages. The Plantation is now focusing on lowering our synthetic fertilizer inputs, the farm is doing this by developing a cover crop program. Our cover crops include a mix of cereals, pluses & root vegetables, the aim of these mixes is to increase soil diversity, offer ground cover to retain moisture & help combat climate change.

What does a days work on your farm look like?

Always busy!! Due to the high production we are never far away from sowing or harvesting. Outside of these busy tasks a normal day will consist of checking and moving cattle, repairing fences, changing & moving irrigators, earthworks, service & maintaining plant & fabricating and engineering farm equipment.  

What do you love most about your farm?

The vast space and scenery. The Plantation has a spectacular back drop as it is surrounded by Coolah top mountain range & Mount Tamarang. It is easy to take it for granted when you see it everyday. It is also a great lifestyle when you have small children. Having the luxury of space and safety for them to be outdoors. It isn’t for everyone but the peace and quiet you get as a result of this more remote lifestyle. It is so nice waking up and only being able to hear birds. Also due to 0 light pollution the stars at night are amazing. Something else that is easy to take for granted when you see it everyday.

What is your favourite time of year on the farm?

The Plantation Sorghum
Photo by @theplantation_

Autumn as you have the deep red of the sorghum crop plus the oranges as the trees turn. It’s amazing at sunset & sunrise. I guess The Liverpool Plains landscape is always changing colour due to the crop cycle so any time of year it’s worth the visit.

What are your biggest challenges on the farm?

Probably like any farmer the weather. Mother Nature can’t be controlled… the weather really does dictate the success of our business and everything we do is always a gamble. I think agriculture is adapting and farmers are finding ways to generate other income due to unpredictable weather.

How can our community best support your industry?

I think mainly being open to education and with saying that I think farmers need to be better at speaking out too. With the ever growing debate around climate change sadly agriculture as an industry has been given a negative image with the wider public. Agriculture is the key industry that can combat climate change and I think education about sustainable agriculture, food production & processes is so important. If you don’t know how your food is produced do me a favor and ask a farmer. They are the best place to source this information.

If you could travel anywhere for a holiday where would it be?

Abroad it would be England as I am from the UK. After years of covid restrictions it would be lovely to get home so my family can meet my children!!

In Australia, it would be to drive from Broome to Perth. I grew up with stories from my grandparents telling me how my Grandad use to move caravans between Perth & Broome in the 70’s and it’s a part of Australia I really want to experience. I hope to get to the west coast very soon.

How do you treat yourself at the end of a weeks work?

A little trip to the creek that runs through the property, take the kids & dogs for a swim. Little cheese board & a few beers!

Sunflower Fields Liverpool Plains
Photo by @ash.around

Being a apart of the Liverpool Plains Sunflower Trail, what did you enjoy most about opening your farm to visitors?

100% sharing agriculture and more specifically The Plantation with people. We had so many people venture for Sydney & Newcastle and a lot of them had never been on a farm before. I loved the discussion about food production we had with a lot of them. The sunflower trial has been a huge success and it has been great working with a group of like minded individuals. I feel the community we are building within The Plains Group is key for the sustainability of remote and regional communities.


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