National Farmers' Federation

New campaign reveals The Backstory behind innovation in agriculture

Australian farmers are known across the globe for growing some of the world’s best food and fibre, but what’s not so well known is how much science, research, technology and innovation goes on behind the farmgate.

Research commissioned by the National Farmers’ Federation has found only 18% of Australians agree the sector is focused on innovation and improvement – revealing a shocking lack of understanding of modern farming.

A new campaign “The Backstory” will take Australians into the paddocks, glasshouses and shearing sheds on Aussie farms to show them just how innovative our farmers are.

National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson believes many people will be surprised at what goes into some of our farm-grown favourites.

“There is a backstory behind every apple we eat, every sandwich we make and every coffee we drink of farmers embracing technology and research to create tastier food, better fibre, more efficient practices, safer workplaces and more sustainable farms,” she said.

“Traditionally, when people think about farming they picture a farmer in a paddock, but The Backstory shows there is so much more to modern farming than that.

“We have apps, satellites and sensor technology, Bluetooth scanning and robotics. These are just some of the tools helping farmers better manage their landscapes and animals. They also create traceable supply chains, contribute to the climate change solution, and produce high quality food and fibre for us to eat, wear and use.”

The Backstory is a series of videos hosted by Rachel McCann who swaps pavement for paddocks to visit three different farms across Australia.

The journey kicks off with a visit to Avington Merino’s shearing shed to where some of Australia’s luxury merino wool is grown before it travels across the world, including to designer fashion houses in Italy.

Rachel heads up to Queensland to visit a cattle property to learn how Melinee and Rob Leather can measure, monitor and forecast the health and changes in soil, water, trees, plants, animals, and even encompasses people and indigenous culture and heritage.

A trip to Victoria sees Rachel visit Flavorite to see how “warrior” bugs and climate-controlled glasshouses are growing some of the tastiest tomatoes going around.

“Farmers are the powerhouse in agriculture, but they are being backed by entrepreneurs, scientists and technicians who are providing endless opportunities and an exciting future in agriculture,” Ms Simson said.

“As farmers, we’re driven to grow better products in smarter, more sustainable ways. Whether it’s using satellites to monitor plant growth, or converting waste to renewable energy to lower emissions – the way that we farm is never standing still.”

Check out The Backstory: farmers.org.au/backstory.