People in Australia know farmers are there but tend to take them for granted or do not truly understand the hard work they do.
The media have published and broadcast numerous stories on the plight of farmers in Australia and overseas, the effort they put in and how they need assistance.
My cousin’s husband is a Sheep farmer but is also a university lecturer, not only because of his wealth of knowledge and experience in farming, but also because he has to have other means to survive.
My cousin’s husband explains how people do not realize how farmers provide most of peoples’ food and meat, such as sheep or lamb meat – “It is a tricky one because it takes months before the [sheep] meat is ready to be distributed to the retail sector for the general public to consume”. Australian farmers “produce almost 93% of Australia’s daily domestic food supply” (National Farmers Federation, 2014).
Farming in Australia has progressed a long way but one area of farming that needs urgent attention and assistance is ‘funding’.
The basis for this article is the possible suggestion of a national funding scheme among the general public in particular. Perhaps an annual or double-annual collection could help farmers around Australia.
The National Farmers Federation, or similar organi z ations, could take hold of the scheme and promote it.
My cousin’s husband enthusiastically welcomed the idea of funding for farmers from the general public.
Farming can be an expensive practice with funding from the Government and other sources only so much. Newly elected head of the Victorian Farmers Federation, Andrew Broad, states how “Politicians need to recognize that farmers are part of the solution, not the problem” (Get Farming Australia, 8 October, 2009). Additionally, costs are sometimes put back onto the farmers themselves.
A number of family owned and run practices have had to survive with some of the farmers having to find additional work on top of their farming practices. According to the National Farmers Federation, of the “134,000 farm businesses in Australia” “99 per cent are family owned and operated” (NFF, 2014).
Broad goes on to state how people “need to remember that a strong profitable farming sector drives a strong economy” (Get Farming Australia, 8 October, 2009).
Broad goes on to say how only five per cent of the population are farmers, and they occupy 61% of Australian land, yet they contribute to 1.6 million jobs, add 12 per cent or $155 billion to Australia’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and $28 million in exports (Get Farming Australia, 8 October, 2009)/ (NFF, 2014).
Australians understand perfectly well the fulfillment of helping one another and those in need. When the Victorian Bushfires hit in 2009, farmers and the Australian general public helped out and showed their support (Get Farming Australia, 8 October, 2009).
Such support can be shown with the idea of a national funding scheme, or something alike, for Australian farmers.
· Get Farming Australia (5 September, 2008), ‘Drought climate change reports highlight double challenge for farmers’
· Get Farming Australia (30 May, 2013), ‘Farm profitability in a food insecure world’
· Get Farming Australia (8 October, 2009), ‘No agriculture, no future’
· Personal Experiences : – Spoke to cousin’s husband about farming at a recent family reunion BBQ at a reserve park in Sydney.
· National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) (2014) ‘Farm Facts’
· Wells, Kathryn (25 June, 2013) ‘Australian farming and agriculture – grazing and cropping’, Australia.gov.au
· Wikipedia, ‘Agriculture in Australia’