The favourite part of my job as AgForce CEO is travelling this great state, having a yarn and a beer with the people I meet, and sharing in some fantastic homegrown, home-cooked Queensland produce.
Those are the moments that make the bumps throughout the year worthwhile.
There's a great, almost innate, sense of optimism in regional Queensland, and I bring it back with me to Brisbane every time I come home.
Seeing firsthand the love our members have for their produce, their livestock, and their land puts to rest any doubt thrown at agriculture by those with anti-farming agendas - which, in some ways, works as a double-edged sword.
It costs money to improve one's practices, to embrace technology, and to meet government's numerous new regulations - but these improvements are of course why Queensland and Australian agriculture are the envy of the rest of the world.
AgForce is here to help of course - investing heavily in advocacy, community engagement, and education and research - to give back to the people and industry without which AgForce wouldn't exist in the first place.
This year alone we have played a key role: keeping ag powering forward under COVID; lobbying government for 'more carrot and less stick' for environmental management; helping secure drought support improvements; meeting the ever-increasing biosecurity challenges faced by industry; taking steps to ensure greater tenure security; and much, much more.
One of our most significant pieces of long-form policy work - our AgCarE program - will be 'market ready' in the first half of next year, ensuring landholders get paid for environmental goods and services, while increasing the resilience of rural and regional communities.
It's the work AgForce does for the people I meet when I'm on the road that has me so excited about what's to come - for our members, present and future, and, consequently, for everyone.
Happy New Year readers, from the entire AgForce family.
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