THE dynamics of Australian agriculture are changing with deregulation the king and, as farmer numbers drop, so too does regional voting power.
While there is no doubt there are positive times ahead, the future will also bring new challenges.
Incoming WAFarmers president Mike Norton is under no illusion as to just how challenging times will be in rural industry.
The Capel beef cattle and dairy farmer has seen a lot during his 40-year association with the farm lobby group and he believes rural Australia needs to embrace unity as just one survival technique in a changing world.
“Rural Australia has enormous financial leverage if it is used collectively,” he said.
“Farmers have traditionally being individuals and sometimes that makes us our own worst enemies.
“While our individuality is a rare thing that makes the Australian agricultural industry what it is today, it also makes it tough when dealing with political parties and large corporate organisations.
“We have got to look at a ways and means of leveraging up our market power and that is going to be the real challenge going forward.”