WOMEN from throughout the state converged on Hopetoun at the weekend for an action-packed event.
More than 250 people attended the annual Women on Farms Gathering.
Committee chairwoman and Yarriambiack councillor Helen Ballentine described the weekend as incredible.
“We are still feeling slightly overwhelmed by it all,” she said.
The weekend featured a mix of workshops, displays, tours and guest speakers.
Cr Ballentine said the event benefited the entire shire, not just Hopetoun.
“Everywhere you looked, the streets were buzzing with people,” she said.
“The shops would have had a boost and there was definitely a lift in morale.
“We’ve had positive feedback from people and from other towns, who thanked us for enabling them to showcase different communities.”
Tours went to places such as Woomelang, Yaapeet, Patchewollock, Beulah and Brim.
Cr Ballentine said there were many highlights of the weekend.
On Sunday, chef Simon Bryant did a demonstration about cooking with pulses.
“He cooked a fabulous shepherd’s pie from lentils and it was very tasty,” Cr Ballentine said.
Governor Linda Dessau officially opened the gathering on Friday night. Cr Ballentine said the gathering focused on celebrating what was grown in the region and eating healthy.
“We all need to exercise a bit more and eat a little healthier, and that’s where the National Centre for Farmer Health came into it,” she said. “If we look at the big picture, the gathering was a big celebration of what we grow and encouraging people to eat more of what we grow.
“We had tai chi along with yoga and pilates as well.
“Everyone was up bright and early too – it amazed me that these women were all up walking around at 6am or 7am.”
Cr Ballentine said overall it was a superb event that came together well.
“The event become bigger and bigger as we started organising it because we had a lot of connections and networks,” she said. ”We were getting new sponsors right up until the week before and we had extra offers of guest speakers.
“The committee worked hard and we are proud of what we achieved.”
Cr Ballentine said there were some setbacks along the way with events being cancelled because of low numbers, only to discover they could have ran because more people registered on the day.
She thanked Mallee Catchment Management Authority drought workers who helped at the event.