I think we should celebrate Australian farmers, and our nation’s farming communities, everyday - and especially on this National Agriculture Day 2017.
It’s a great time to acknowledge and celebrate Australian agriculture and the enormous contribution it continues to make to our economy and the Australian way of life.
It has long been said that Australia was once the nation that rode the sheep’s back to prosperity.
For years, the wool industry symbolised what it was like to be an Australian living in the bush.
Today, rural identity has broadened to encompass a range of agriculture commodities including wheat, barley, canola, wine, sugar, horticulture and livestock such as cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry to name a few.
These commodities now produce around $52 billion in gross value (ABS, Value of Agriculture Produced, 2015-2016).
Australian farmers have always had a well-earned reputation for producing clean, safe and ethically grown food of the highest quality and as we push toward a global population of 10 billion people by 2050, the opportunities are enormous.
Australia currently produces enough food for approximately 60 million people, 40 per cent of produce is consumed locally while 60pc is exported to other countries around the world (p.8, National Farmers Federation 2015-2016 Annual Review).
Our farming practices are world leading.
Australian farmers heavily invest in research and are looking to develop and implement some of the most innovative approaches to farming practices seen across the globe.
So, it’s fantastic to see the farming community embracing technology and taking such an optimistic approach towards the future of farming.
Without a doubt, a country as big and diverse as Australia is challenging for farmers and rural communities.
So, it’s particularly important to acknowledge and celebrate their ability to stand strong together especially during difficult times.
Whether there is drought, floods, cyclones, storms, bushfires, hail or frost – Australia has it all.
No matter what mother nature throws at our farmers, they overcome adversity, get on with it and do what they do best.
They also know the deep importance of creating connected communities.
Many farming families play a significant role in giving back to their local communities through volunteer work.
In fact, around 70pc of farmers volunteer in their community for groups such as the local bushfire brigade along with a number of other community activities and events (p.8, National Farmers Federation 2015-2016 Annual Review).
We truly do have our farmers to thank for the prosperity that they bring to this fine country and for their continued efforts in making this great nation what it is today.
WFI Insurance has been supporting Australian farmers since 1919 and is a proud supporter of National Agriculture Day 2017.
- Andrew Beer is the executive manager of Agri Solutions.
The story Agriculture plays key part in connecting communities first appeared on Farm Online.