Opinion

View From the Paddock: From surfboards to stockyards

By Lucy Moore
February 5 2022 - 9:00am
Lucy Moore, writer/grazier.

Ah, the holidays. The whimsical period from Christmas to late January when many Queenslanders make their great escape to the golden, sandy east Australian coast. "Be gone hard yakka and heat waves," they say.

"It's the sea breeze for me!" For a couple of weeks, anyway.

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And what do they see when they breach the last hill and peer upon the Pacific for the first time in twelve months? They see calm. Among the hustle and bustle of three lanes and skyscrapers, there is a resounding sense of peacefulness. How can it be?

Tradies taking their morning surf break, mothers pushing prams along the esplanade chattering about topics unfathomable to Joe Blow from Mitchell.

On a recent R&R trip to the coast, I made a conscious effort to people watch. I analysed locals' routines, their day-to-day, to the point where I now know Liam the surf lifesaver is also a chippy every other day, regularly rolls in 30 minutes late to the red and yellow flags and takes full cream milk in his coffee.

Don't be alarmed, I was simply compiling notes.

In agriculture, we often scratch our heads in wonder or throw tantrums when those living along the coastline apparently forget we exist.

But they don't forget, it's just not an aspect of their lives they have any need to contemplate. Why would Liam the lifesaver expend his energy thinking about droughts in western Queensland when for him, the problem is literally light years away from his reality. He still buys his lamb chops from Woolies, drought or no drought.

I've found myself throwing my own pity party, complaining ag is under-rated and unimportant to anyone not practicing it. What agriculture truly is, is understated. And it's nobody's fault but our own.

There is a methodology - if you have time to whine about a problem, you have time to come up with a solution.

We are the only ones who can have any effect on how agriculture is viewed by Burleigh surfers and Paddington lawyers.

We need to show them why they should care, give them a reason to notice us.

We need to deliver our message on a silver platter right under their noses and make it easy to remember us. Easy like Sunday morning on the sand at Mooloolaba.

Have a squiz at @the_stockmans_shadow on Instagram for more info and to get involved!

- Lucy Moore, writer/grazier

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