It seems 2019 will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. In terms of risk, agriculture has been continually challenged and even the best performers are not exempt.
Fires, floods, targeted legislation, biosecurity threats, trespass, theft and personal attack are at the forefront of many producers' minds.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it should not translate into harm and distress caused to others.
Currently, many feel let down by their elected leaders, the judicial system and the lack of common decency on display by some activists.
Agriculture is a $60b industry aiming to reach $100b by 2030.
At a national level frameworks are being put in place to pool resources and work collaboratively to achieve this vision. But primary producers need additional help.
The message to 'share your story' sounds simple, but in reality is not that easy. Engaging on social media is not the same as strategically marketing an industry.
After the recent devastating floods individuals did share their story. We are now hearing that some of those good people have been personally singled out for messages of hate.
Agriculture is up against well resourced, highly financed groups who engage marketing specialists to attack and undermine our image.
We know the rules of engagement have changed. Primary producers are constantly left shaking their heads in response to the latest political and militant attacks against them.
If we are to protect our assets, share our stories and remain viable, the marketing money must be extended to not only promote the high quality end products associated with 'brand Aussie' but also provide a national framework to re-establish the image of 'brand Aussie farmer'.
The operating environment has become more complex. It is not sympathy we need but rather engagement and empathy.
It is sad to think intensive animal production facilities will have to review their operations.
Some have already had to erect security fences because although they have nothing to hide they have everything to lose. The irony is that previously visitor tours were welcomed.
The Australian public has a high regard for farmers but are concerned about some farming practices. Agriculture must unite to market our story because others are not doing an honest job.
There has never been a more important time for the people who produce Australia's food and fibre to believe those with the resources to help have their back.
This isn't because the commodities are threatened but because there is never an okay time to tolerate bullying.
- Brigid Price, Rural Resources
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