National Ag day is here with a myriad of events planned across the country. The Australian farming environment is as diverse as the country itself, we are all part of the same cycle, all moving in the same direction.
The word farmer has a different meaning for each and every person involved in the cycle, not just the producer, but also the consumer. Farmers can be graziers, pastoralists, stud producers, broad acre croppers, vegetable producers, orchardists to name a few. They can grow and produce anything and whilst at first we may think of cattle, sheep or wheat farmers, the cycle also includes those who use the commodity and value add to create a more refined product – such as fine wool merino jumpers or stone milled flour or a luxury skincare product containing Australian grown lavender.
[Image credit Paige Cross]
Farming is a cycle. You plant the crop, grow the crop, harvest the crop, sell the crop, repeat. The same process is applied to any industry within agriculture. The end point is to have a saleable item. The challenges experienced within the cycle, usually have a common denominator – Mother Nature. Mother Nature can impact the ability for us to grow it, the price we receive for it or the management we need to put into it, she can be the biggest asset or the biggest hurdle.
Right now, the farming areas of Australia are so incredibly different to each other, it’s somewhat hard to believe we are in the same country. The drought conditions being experienced and the bushfires are well documented. But look more closely to home and it doesn’t take any great distance to notice similarities, especially the desire and intent to produce the best quality product together with the overall economic reliance upon the Australian agricultural industry.
Australian farmers, no matter where they are located or what they grow or produce, are all motivated to produce an outstanding food or fibre product for use or consumption not only on the domestic market, but on the world market. Our reputation of producing quality, clean and safe products is something all Australians can be proud of, but also one which we need to be so careful and vigilant to protect. It is our point of difference on the global stage.
Educate yourself about where your food and fibre products come from and how they are produced. As farmers, we need to continue to keep the consumer in mind both globally and domestically. Are we educating the domestic consumer on our ability to create a first class product which is demanded throughout the world? Are we listening to trends demanded of the farming community by the consumer? Are we ahead of the curve? I think we are, I think we just need to sell our message better. Let our urban friends sell our message for us around the globe. How can we show support for and celebrate our Australian farmers? Buy local. Ask questions.
[image Paige Cross]
I am fortunate to have grown up on a broadacre cropping and sheep farm in South Australia. I have spent many years working in agricultural finance across the East Coast of Australia and have friends who are graziers in the outback, poppy growers in Tasmania and super fine merino stud producers in the Western District of Victoria. I know that everyone in agriculture shares a want and a passion to create a first class product that will provide for a better future for our families and the environment.
This is our story, this is our identity, this is our livelihood, this is our point of difference. Let’s celebrate that, not only today on National Agriculture Day, but every day when we choose to buy local and we choose to buy produced in Australia.
If you would like to be involved or find out more about National Agriculture Day head to https://www.agday.org.au/
"Help us celebrate that in fact, we are all a part of the same cycle, all moving in the same direction #WeAreAustralianFarmers"
Written by Paige Cross for The Rural Compass
Blog Cover Image by Emma Jane Industry