After decades of watching once-thriving bush towns wither away, as some of our communities' best and brightest young people moved to the cities, it is extremely heartening to see the tide flowing the other way.
It appears that the family-friendly lifestyle we in the bush take for granted is not only calling back our own kids, but attracting thousands of capital city millennials looking for a better way of life.
And it's not just the clichéd "fresh air and open spaces" that is drawing them.
Much of it is that we "are not the city": not sitting in traffic for an hour to get to work, more affordable and better quality housing, improved job opportunities, the chance for a fresh start without high-stress urban living.
Being connected has a new meaning now too, with high speed internet transforming work models and accessibility.
I've previously noted the silver lining that the 'COVID cloud' has offered rural and regional Queensland, the change in society's focus on what is important.
Government and the community have acknowledged the critical role that agriculture will play in Australia's way of life - along with the thousands of regional communities it underpins - in the post-pandemic economic recovery.
The growing 'return to the regions' movement is exciting because it makes it all the more possible.
But we need to step up to meet this challenge.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our industry.
To take our proud track record of innovation, environmental stewardship, and social and economic outcomes to the next level.
AgForce is already working on generating the environment to achieve this - critical factors are stronger collaboration between government and industry and more effective engagement with the broader community and the next generation.
Over next few weeks, AgForce will relaunch a re-energised 'Stand With Regional Queensland' movement to reconnect the country with the city.
We welcome input on how we can support and enable you and your business to be stronger in the future, so please connect with us...