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aussie greenhorns

Posted: May 13 2010

we've been hearing from more and more young farmers in australia-- they are getting organized over there too.. and hot on the email.
Farmers' voice needs to be loud and proud to bridge the city-country divide
DEBORAH BAIN, May 4, 2010
The urban Australian population is removed both physically and emotionally from the farming sector. It is becoming trite to say there is a rural-urban divide - but the phrase accurately reflects what common knowledge and research know to be true. This is not for want of interest in, or empathy with, our farmers, but simply from lack of access to that environment. Our demographic has changed in the past couple of generations and now only about 33 per cent of city families have friends or relatives on farms.
So what are the consequences of this divide?  The consumer becomes oblivious to the process that goes into producing our food and fibre. They forget that there was a time before supermarkets and widely abundant, affordable food. They are easily manipulated by negative claims about farming practices.
In political decision making, they see no need to support those that provide us with the vast majority of our daily food. Farmers must engage in conversation with the consumer and let them know that to continue to enjoy fresh local produce, and the economic income of  rural exports, their support is vital.
Australian farmers are among the best producers in the world - from an economic, environmental and animal welfare position. However, they are poor advocates for their profession - they are quiet about what they do, how they do it, and how they are impacted by government and corporate policy. Quite simply, they are too busy farming! Their belief is that someone else will speak for them . . . won’t they?
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