All Australians with an interest in or involvement with Australian agriculture are invited to have their say on the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the farm sector. From this week, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) will be collecting the views of Australia’s 140,000 farmers and the wider supply chain in order to develop the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture. “The Blueprint is designed to set the future direction for the farming sector by hearing from the farmers, transporters, processors, retailers, agriculture teachers, agronomists, small business owners – in short, anyone with a stake in Australian agriculture,” NFF President Jock Laurie said. “You’ve heard us talk about the Blueprint – and now is your opportunity to get involved. “From today, we are now calling for your input into the Blueprint development. Participating in the Blueprint is easy: simply hop on our http://www.nff.org.au/blueprint[website] and fill in the online survey, talk to one of the 24 NFF Member organisations, or run your own Blueprint session within your community and tell us what you want to see for the future of Australian agriculture. “Or come along to a Blueprint forum, hosted by the NFF and Westpac, in each State and Territory across Australia. Forums are taking place in Toowoomba, Perth, Darwin, Wagga Wagga, Shepparton, Adelaide and Tasmania between March and May,” Mr Laurie said. “Ultimately, the Blueprint is about coming together as an industry to identify the issues, challenges and opportunities for the future of our industry. We want you to tell us what you believe the key issues are for your farms and businesses, and suggest potential solutions for the industry to tackle these issues head on. “We will be spending the next four months hearing your thoughts and views. At the end of the process, we’ll be putting together a document that captures the collective view of all who took part. This draft will then undergo a period of public consultation before it is presented to Government in December 2012. “Importantly, the creation of this document won’t be the end of Blueprint, but rather the next step in creating a road map for a better future. “So in this, the Australian Year of the Farmer, we are asking for your help in shaping the future of our industry,” Mr Laurie said. For more information on the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture, an initiative of the NFF and Westpac, please visit the Blueprint http://www.nff.org.au/blueprint[webpage] or call 02 6269 5666.