National Farmers' Federation

Farmers lead a celebration of the shared values of all Australians

Australian farmers hold a special place in the hearts and minds of Australians, with people from all walks of life giving generously and providing a myriad of support during times in need. However, new research by the National Farmers’ Federation reveals over two thirds of urban dwellers have no connection to farming, agriculture or rural Australia*. To restore the connection, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has launched a new initiative We Are Australian Farmers – celebrating the shared values of all Australians in an effort to close the divide between city and country and challenge some of the dated perceptions of farming. Launching at the NFF’s 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner in Canberra last night, We Are Australian Farmers embraces the similarities between Australian farmers and their city counterparts, exploring the shared moments, challenges and opportunities which are faced every day as we work toward common goals. “With important issues such as food security, animal welfare and the environment top of mind for many, Australian agriculture has never had a more important story to tell,” NFF President and Liverpool Plains farmer Fiona Simson said. “We believe the widening disconnect between rural Australians and urban-based communities has resulted in a knowledge gap about how food and fibre is produced. “At a fundamental level, whether you live in the city or country, we are all motivated at a base level by the same values. “We all live in the same modern world and share the same progressive values,” Fiona said. “And, it’s these values that influence farmers everyday in their production of produce to feed and nurture Australians.” Fiona said We Are Australian Farmers was the start of an enduring and wide-ranging initiative by the NFF, and supported by Meat and Livestock Australia, to reconnect urban with rural, and help people understand the story behind the food and fibre that nourishes and nurtures our families every day. The new research from the NFF showed that: Six in ten adults have a positive opinion of the farming and agricultural industry in Australia (63%) Almost eight in ten Australians agree our farmers, farming and agriculture make an important contribution to the national economy (79%) and society (77%). Yet two thirds of Australians said they felt they had no real connection to farmers, agriculture or rural Australia. The research pointed to emerging community interest about certain aspects of agriculture – going to how and why farmers do what they do, especially when it comes to the environment and animals in their care When asked about their knowledge of farming and agriculture 85% said they knew something, but this was only superficial knowledge, with 58% claiming to know ‘only a little’ About the Study *The research was conducted by JWS Research in September 2019 on behalf of the National Farmers Federations involving a representative sample of over 1,000 Australians. To learn more about Australian Farming or find out how you can get involved, visit www.farmers.org.au

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