The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) will host a forum about the future of the agricultural sector next week in Victoria. The forum, part of the NFF’s initiative, the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture, is designed to give farmers, the wider agricultural supply chain and those with an interest in, or involvement with agriculture the chance to have their say on the future direction of the sector. The free forum, to be held at the Overlander Hotel in Shepparton on Wednesday 18 April, provides a chance for all within agriculture – from farmers through to retailers – to contribute to a Blueprint for the future, setting out the issues and challenges the sector needs to overcome, and the opportunities to capitalise on. “The Blueprint is designed as an opportunity for the agricultural sector to take control of our future: to set out where we want to go and how we’re going to get there,” NFF President Jock Laurie said. “As all farmers know, many things in agriculture are outside of our control – like the weather, commodity prices and the strength of the Australian dollar – which is why our sector is particularly adaptable, and why our farmers are very good at managing risk. “And the Blueprint is basically risk management for the future of the sector as a whole. It’s about ensuring we know what challenges and opportunities lay ahead, so that we’re able to tackle them head on. It’s a plan for our future – and as the saying goes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail,” Mr Laurie said. The Blueprint is an initiative of the NFF, delivered with support from Westpac and Woolworths. The Victorian Blueprint forum is proudly supported by NFF members: Victorian Farmers Federation, Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association, Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Veterinary Association, Beechworth Honey, Cattle Council of Australia, Corporate Agriculture Group, Dried Fruits Australia, Goat Industry Council of Australia, Ricegrowers Association of Australia, Ridley Corporation, Sheepmeat Council of Australia and WoolProducers. For more information, or to register to attend the Shepparton forum, visit http://www.nff.org.au/blueprint[the Blueprint webpage] or call the NFF on 02 6269 5666.