National Farmers' Federation

NFF President re-elected as Australian agriculture enters golden era

Queensland farmer Brent Finlay has been re-elected unopposed as the President of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) for a second term at the NFF Members’ Council meeting and AGM in Canberra today.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Finlay said that Australian agriculture was on the verge of a golden era, provided farmers could capture a share of the rising export demand and prices in Asia.
“This is an exciting time for Australian farmers. Only yesterday, we saw the Australian and Chinese Governments sign a free trade agreement – an agreement that could see a tripling in agricultural exports to China within the next decade.
“While the agreement reduces tariffs across a number of sectors, some of our commodities were unable to improve their market access arrangements. Going forward, we will be looking to redouble our efforts on any upcoming agreement reviews in the near future.
“Furthermore, our farmers have a lot to be proud of – producing high-quality, safe food and fibre for Australia and the world. The opportunities for the sector keep on growing, and the challenge ahead is to convert these into better returns at farm-gate.
“From competitiveness through to long-term drought policy, workplace relations, land and water management, there are some major processes the Government is currently undertaking, that have the potential to seriously affect our farmers.
“And that’s exactly why the NFF exists, to ensure industry’s voice is heard – putting farmers at the forefront of these policy initiatives to drive the sector and economy forward,” Mr Finlay said.
The election of the NFF Board for 2014-15 was also held at the Members’ Council and AGM, with NSW mixed farmer and grazier, Fiona Simson elected as Vice-President.
Three directors from the previous Board have been reappointed to their positions: NSW ricegrower, Les Gordon; VIC mixed farmer and grazier, Peter Tuohey; and VIC mixed farmer and grazier, David Jochinke.
Two new Board Directors have today also been elected: QLD beef producer, Grant Maudsley; and NSW beef producer, Mark Horan.
Mr Finlay welcomed the NFF Board of Directors and paid tribute to outgoing Vice-President, Christine Rolfe and outgoing director Ian Burnett for their service to the NFF.
“I extend a warm welcome to Mark and Grant in joining the NFF Board – their commitment to agriculture will strongly complement our existing leadership team. And I thank Christine and Ian Burnett for their valuable contribution to the NFF Board. On behalf of the NFF, I wish all outgoing Board directors well in their future endeavors.
The NFF AGM and Members’ Council continues in Canberra today and tomorrow.

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