Catherine Velisha from Velisha Farms is fast becoming a media star with recent appearances in Shepparton’s Country News, WIN TV and ABC radio.

Farming is a hot topic in the Australian media, but the key focus is of course the tragic impact the droughts and floods are having on our Queensland farmers. So how does a vegie grower from Werribee South make a splash in the media?

It’s all about the angle

Catherine and her business partner have recently purchased 120 acres near Shepparton. Catherine has identified an incredible opportunity for the region. She believes The Goulburn Valley (GV) has the potential to become ‘Victoria’s Vegie Bowl’ IF water licences could be made available all year round. They are currently not available during the three winter months.

A changing climate, resulting in rising temperatures, has made the GV around five to six degrees warmer than Melbourne, therefore making it the ideal region for growing vegetables all year round.

“We can grow vegetables in the GV, but we can’t do it on the scale that could make a real difference to the area without access to water all year round. In fact, I believe there is the potential to feed around 20 percent of Melbourne’s population with vegetables,” Catherine said.

The Great Water Debate

Water is a precious commodity, but it’s become even more so over the past decade with Victoria experiencing one of the worst droughts its history. Luckily, the drought broke in the Goulburn Valley a few years ago but as a result water still remains a touchy subject.

Tapping into the water debate with a great idea that has the potential to result in major economic benefits for the region proved to be a winning formula.

How we targeted the pitching

First we needed to identify the best print medium. At first we thought it was the Shepparton News but it turned out that we needed to be targeting a specific section of the paper. An email and a couple of calls to chase up the Editor of the Shepparton News uncovered that we needed to be speaking to the Editor of their weekly publication, the Country News.

It was localism that sealed the deal. The Editor was impressed that Catherine had put her ‘money where her mouth is’ and had already committed to the region.

WIN TV and ABC radio followed with great stories, providing new angles and opening doors to important conversations that may change the way water rights are distributed in the future.

Who knows, Catherine’s dream for the Goulburn Valley to become ‘Victoria’s Vegie Bowl’ may just come true!

Watch the story on WinTV’s Facebook page.