As my readers know I am a proud farmer,and that says a lot as the last thing I ever wanted to do was farm. But until I took on the role of sharing my farming story there was so much about farming beyond the dairy industry that I knew so little about. This is one of the reasons I became a Climate Champion which offered me a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet other like minded farmers from other industries and wow what an awakening and life changing experience that has been. It truly saddens me that I am the only dairy farmer that has been funded to have this opportunity
The National Farmers Federation has done a great job of helping me expand my knowledge by creating this great little resource – Farm Facts. Which the very clever Craig Taylor has summarised in what I believe tells the story innovatively, simply and succinctly.of how are farmers are doing a brilliant job of producing more from less (and that’s the key to successful sustainable farming in this country)
One of the things that still fascinates me is despite the vastness of our country just how little of it we can grow food on and how precious our natural resources are to sustain our standard of living now and in the future.
Yes we all know Australia is a pretty big place and what most of us don’t realise (including me until recently) is believe it or not over 60% of it is owned, managed and cared for by Australian farmers. To put this into perspective the white bits on the map below are the 40% of Australia that are classified as non agricultural land.,
What’s even harder to believe is that only 6% of our agricultural land is suitable for growing food. This means our 134,000 farmers have a huge amount of land between them that doesn’t generate an income It therefore goes without saying that Australian farmers are at the frontline of delivering environmental outcomes on behalf of the Australian community and they have a very big unpaid gardening/park keeping gig in any man’s language. I was as flabbergasted as most people when I found out these statistics that overall 94% of what farmers own and manage returns them no direct in your pocket benefit. As one of those farmers of which 50% of our farm is pristine rainforest it does however give great satisfaction and warms your heart to see it support diverse native vegetation and wildlife.
Can you just imagine what its like following the cows home through this – I can tell you its doesn’t get much better
However its very clear as many of our farmers readily admit they don’t have the skillsets nor the time to do all of this gardening alone. Luckily Australia has a whole team of very special professionals called natural resource managers who partner with farmers to help them get the best outcomes for Australia’s scare natural resources.
I wrote parts of this blog post to share this great story about the cotton industry and the exciting young people who eyes are being opened to just what some of our Champion Industries and their great farmers are achieving not just for themselves but for the wider community. You can read it here and be as proud as me
Some of our great young farmers and natural resource managers who are working together to care for Australia’s scarce natural resources