A NATIONAL Agriculture Day poll has indicated young Australians are the most likely to say they don’t care at all how their food and fibre is grown.
The 2018 National Agriculture Day Poll conducted by TEG Insights found that 23 percent of 18-29 year-olds surveyed — called Generation Y or Millenials — said they don’t care at all how their food and fibre is grown.
The National Farmers Federation said this is 8pc higher than for Australians aged 30-49 years. The AgDay Poll is commissioned annually by the NFF to gauge the community’s connection to the farm sector.
NFF chief executive officer Tony Mahar said the apathy displayed by 18-29 year-olds is cause for concern.
“This is meant to be a demographic with a deep social conscience, yet almost one in four couldn’t care less how the food they put in their mouths is grown.
“While some might say this is a credit to the quality, safety and abundance of food and fibre we produce in Australia, it’s troubling that as a country we’re growing increasingly disconnected from life’s essentials,” Mr Mahar said.
The AgDay Poll also found that more than half (52pc) of 18-29 year-olds felt disconnected with farming and uninformed about the industry. The NFF said this is unsurprising perhaps, given 65pc have not had any contact with a single farmer in the past 12 months.
“We have to do a better job at getting in front of the community, and having an open and honest conversation about what we do. Otherwise we risk seeing generations of Australians with no understanding of where their food and fibre comes from.”
The Poll findings coincide with National Agriculture Day on 21 November – an awareness campaign led by the NFF to highlight the farm sector’s contribution.
“This year, we’re celebrating AgDay under the theme ‘Grow for Good’. It’s all about highlighting the progress our industry is making each year by farming smarter and more sustainably.
“There is a great story to tell about Australian agriculture. Whether it’s strengthening communities by providing jobs; growing more food and fibre to meet surging demand; or taking better care of our planet – each year we’re improving what we do, and making the world a better place to live.”
The NFF called for all Australians to get involved in AgDay.
“We all have a role to play in helping celebrate agriculture and informing the community about what we do.
“Wear green to support our farmers and take a moment to share the ‘Grow for Good’ message on social media, using the hashtags #GrowforGood and #AgDayAU.” A series of National AgDay events was held across Australia today.
WoolProducers sets policy on National AgDay
PEAK wool grower body WoolProducers Australia has celebrated National Ag Day by continuing to set policy for its members, while a range of NAD activities was undertaken across the nation.
The WoolProducers board today hosted its quarterly Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee meeting in Sydney.
The WPA AH&WAC has representatives from the Australian Wool Growers Association, the Australian Superfine Woolgrower Association, Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders Association, the Livestock Contractors Association and the Australian Veterinary Association.
WoolProducers Australia president, Richard Halliday said National Ag Day is a great initiative to celebrate all things agriculture.
“Whilst policy development mightn’t be the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about agriculture, it is a very important part of industry to ensure that producers interests are promoted and protected.”
WoolProducers said it is proud the industry contributed about $4.3 billion in exports to the Australian economy and employed 200,000 people, ensuring stronger regional communities.
Australia’s woolgrowers also care for the environment through land stewardship by controlling pests and weeds and managing land with sustainable management practices.
“So regardless of if you are in the paddock, the shearing shed or even in a boardroom, make sure you take the time to celebrate all things agriculture today.” Mr Halliday said.
Recognise determination and innovation – NSWFarmers
NSW Farmers’ president James Jackson said National Ag Day was about celebrating the country’s agricultural sector and acknowledging that despite the hard times, farmers’ determination and innovation should never be underestimated.
“Farmers across the state, and indeed many parts of the country, are making tough decisions every day as this drought continues.
“They are decisions that impact farmers and their local communities financially but also physically, mentally and emotionally,” he said.
“But their resilience must be commended, and the community’s support no doubt is playing a vital role in helping farmers get through this tough period.
“The generosity Australians have shown drought affected farmers has been overwhelming and the farming community is very grateful,” Mr Jackson said.
The NSW Farmers’ Association also wanted to recognise the growing international demand for the state’s high quality food and fibre.
“The latest figures by the Department of Primary Industries show that prior to the impacts of drought, exports had grown by 22 percent year on year to $6.3 billion.”
For more information on National AgDay see www.agday.org.au
HAVE YOUR SAY