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2012 – Australian Year of the Farmer

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I’m a supporter of the Australian Year of the Farmer because our farmers and farm-related industries are among the best and most efficient in the world , injecting more than $405 billion into our economy each year – that is almost thirty percent of our gross domestic product. Agriculture has always played a key role in Australia’s economy and prosperity, and thanks to the innovation and dedication of today’s farmers, Australia contributes significantly to global food security and supply.

The Australian Year of the Farmer 2012 is a year-long celebration of the vital role farmers’ play in feeding, clothing and housing us all. Their mission is to share these stories and recognise the contribution farmers make to sustaining our way of life, our communities and our economy. To view the Tasmanian events calendar, click on this link.

The Federal Government recognises the important contribution  that our farming communities make to our country and have recently announced a further $500,000 in funding to assist in the continued roll out of the roadshow which is visiting many rural communities, as well as other events and educational activities.

If you are wondering what you can do to assist our nation’s farmers, there is one sure fire way. The buying decisions of each person, every day directly affect the jobs of millions of Australians. Check the label – does it read ‘Made in Australia’? Where are the ingredients from? Wherever possible, I urge you to buy Australian.

My connection with the land began spending time following my grandparents around on their dairy farm in Meander – a beautiful farming community nestled under the Great Western Tiers in Northern Tasmania. While not employed directly in the farming industry I worked for many years at the potato processing plant in Ulverstone. Downstream processing of produce provides a better certainty of demand for farmers and increased jobs in our regional communities.

One way to participate in the National Year of the Farmer is the photo competition. All Australians, regardless of whether they live in the country or the city are encouraged to share their story of how farming affects their daily life. There are already some great photos on the website – take a look and submit your own!

There are many ways to become involved, including many events across Australia; visit the website for more information or call 1800 642 724.

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