Continuing the Year of the Farmer message

14 Dec, 2012 01:00 AM
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Australian Year of the Farmer chairman Philip Bruem.
Australian Year of the Farmer chairman Philip Bruem.

AUSTRALIA'S Year of the Farmer campaign organisers want to cash in on city goodwill which emerged for their initiative by getting the "big end of town" to help foster business innovation in the bush.

The year's series of education and awareness events celebrating the economic and social dividends generated by farming and agribusiness careers has just culminated in the launch of a mentoring program to help young Australians excel in the farm sector.

"So many people were impressed with the message and achievements of the past year we felt we had to keep the momentum rolling," said Australian Year of the Farmer (AYOTF) chairman, Philip Bruem.

He said the mentoring scheme would be part of the One Country Program which planned to build on the education strategies established during 2012.

It would provide young Australians with access to information on professions in the agribusiness sector and encourage investment in agricultural innovation and development.

The mentoring program would identify future leaders and establish a schedule tailored to their career pursuits, linking them with city businesses and business leaders who could help guide their decision-making and growth.

"We haven't had time to map out much detail yet, but there's a lot of goodwill in metropolitan areas and we want to encourage the city to be part of developing agriculture to meet the big challenges ahead," Mr Bruem said.

"A lot of people would be surprised at the level of city support and respect for farmers. It's been a refreshing experience for me to encounter during the year.

"I think we're often a bit too quick to say 'they don't understand us', but we should give city people a bit more credit for their interest and support of farmers' achievements."

In fact, he said, half the jobs in the agri-food sector were in metropolitan areas so many urban dwellers had direct ties with farming.

Another key goal of One Country would be encouraging awareness of the need for agricultural innovation and technologies to lift farm productivity and expand employment opportunities.

An on-going communications program would highlight the importance of agriculture to the nation's well being and everyday life.

He said young participants in the mentoring program would be aged 25 to 35 and drawn from farm backgrounds, rural manufacturing, retailing or banking backgrounds - anywhere in the agribusiness chain.

Business mentors or partnering companies would be asked to volunteer their services which were envisaged to involve sharing time in their own city work environment and in the bush.

Mr Bruem said many companies already ran similar mentoring schemes for their own staff or students.

He hoped they would like to open their doors to help foster excellence and creativity in agribusiness youngsters who had already demonstrated leadership qualities.

"Our long term goal is to build greater appreciation of Australian grown produce and ensure our agriculture sector is in good economic health to cope with the business and production challenges that come with feeding and clothing a much bigger global population with less available land," he said.

AYOTF's One Country card - launched to help generate funds for the campaign and reward shoppers for supporting Australian product initiatives - would continue to give everyday Australians the chance to support the One Country program.

Governor General Quentin Bryce told last weekend's One Country Ball in Sydney that as patron of the AYOTF she had encountered "contagious momentum and enthusiasm" for promoting agriculture and the economic value of country communities.

But without the next generation of farmers to run the farms Australia could not adequately cope with the opportunities it was being offered to meet the demands of a 70 per cent rise in global food needs in the next 40 years.

"The future of agriculture is bright, exciting and profitable and the need to encourage young people to choose it as a career is urgent," she said.

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READER COMMENTS

The Serf
14/12/2012 6:55:21 AM

The fact is farming of any kind in Australia is not profitable at all and relative to other farm production countries our cost of production levels are unsustainable. No amount of "goodwill" from the city will counteract that economic reality. If farming was profitable then we would not be in this position where over the last 30 years there has been a 40%+ drop in farmers actually on the land in production. There will be no increased production without profit; farm production is declining and will continue; a famine is inevitable...
Bushie Bill
14/12/2012 10:11:51 AM

The decline in the number of farmers and the profitability of the industry have no long term causal relationship whatsoever. The number of farmers and the number of agriculture employees have been trending down since European settlement. (Has it been unprofitable since Day 1, Serf?) This is exactly the same trend as other (reasonably economically literate) western economies have experienced and is exactly what objective analysis would and does predict. What is it with the outrageous hyperbole that pervades RARA? Are you channelling the Mutt, Serf?
Roger Crook
14/12/2012 4:59:10 PM

Bill, Just put 'Australian grains Financial performance of grains producing farms, 2007–08 to 2009–10' into your search engine and then make a comment. You can also do the same for beef farming if you can spare the time. You may also care to comment that fewer farmers are borrowing more. Go to RBA and then rural debt.
Dunart
14/12/2012 8:19:33 PM

Well said serf Go back to your regulated labour market BBB and stop winging about your subsidies we pay to you.
The Serf
15/12/2012 7:42:44 PM

No Bushie I'm not Mutt; yes it was profitable until the turn of this century; my family have been in agriculture since arriving under the redcoat yoke as convicts; we are now hoping for an invasion probably from China to rid this country of people like you; our family has many buried in Europe, SE Asia and north Australia and Perth that fort for my freedom - a hollow promise that has not, and never will be realized. That's why we keep records on people like you, for posterity...
PAYG
16/12/2012 6:27:29 PM

Pot-hole Billy, I think that your leftoid economic degree just scored an own goal with this gem: - “The decline in the number of farmers and the profitability of the industry have no long term causal relationship whatsoever.” This is to say that you reckon that “profitability” together with the number of industry participants (farmers) are mutually exclusive ?? Moving your moronic economic scenario forward; Where exactly did all those previously unknown “Pink Bat” installers emerge from if not from a chance of “Profitability” courtesy of the taxpayer ??
Bushie Bill
17/12/2012 8:15:28 PM

You may be correct, Roger, but it does not negate a word I have written. Your comment is simply a red herring for those not prepared or able to face reality and the truth.
Bushie Bill
17/12/2012 8:18:26 PM

"winging" Dunart? I am not some old bat flying blind as most RARAs do. Would you like to detail the subsidies you pay me?
Bushie Bill
17/12/2012 8:56:44 PM

I am quite sure who scored “an own goal", PAYG, if you are not able to intellectually distinguish between "a causal relationship" and "a mutually exclusive" relationship. Ask your junior school child to explain it to you, or better still, do some thinking, and if still necessary, some research with a good dictionary. Incidentally, your last paragraph is as incoherent and nonsensical as it is irrelevant and wrong (if it is possible to draw conclusions from an interpreted intended logic). Do try harder, PAYG and do not give up simply because of a massive failure of intelligent application.
Hilda Hereford
18/12/2012 6:40:52 AM

Bushie, From the drivel you post all over this site during working hours, I'd conclude your wage is likely to be the subsidy we as tax payers should cut!!
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