Speaker get­ting farm­ers out of their com­fort zone

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

SHY to start but with an anec­dote for ev­ery oc­ca­sion, Out­back Pi­o­neer founder Richard Kin­non was the per­fect guest speaker to head­line the North Bur­nett Agri­cul­ture Fo­rum.

The Lon­greach gra­zier and tourism oper­a­tor knows bet­ter than most what it’s like to strug­gle as an agri­cul­ture worker.

In 2006 he and his fam­ily founded Kin­non & Co (now named Out­back Pi­o­neers) to sup­port them­selves dur­ing a no­to­ri­ously dev­as­tat­ing drought.

Mr Kin­non has since be­come a mo­ti­va­tional speaker ap­pear­ing at nu­mer­ous agri­cul­ture and tourism-re­lated events.

At the fo­rum, his talk re­galed lis­ten­ers with sto­ries about the land they lived on and the chal­lenges they faced.

Some sto­ries were funny, oth­ers se­ri­ous, but un­der­neath it all was a mes­sage about the im­por­tance of open­ing up.

“We’re do­ing it tough out there on the ag side, with the red tape and the bu­reau­cracy, and you’re left bat­tling it on your own,” Mr Kin­non said.

“That’s why there’s so many fel­las do­ing away with it, be­cause on the emo­tional side of things, an Aussie farmer ... it’s hard for him to talk.”

Mr Kin­non praised the BIEDO rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s plan for an in­dus­try fo­rum be­cause it could give farm­ers the chance to talk with each other and seek ad­vice on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

Net­work­ing with the dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tions also gave them the chance to see that the peo­ple from out­side the in­dus­try they had to deal with weren’t all “shiny bums” in high-rise of­fices.

“I think the ag side of peo­ple are start­ing to re­alise there are real peo­ple in th­ese in­dus­tries who are on the same page and can make the dif­fer­ence,” Mr Kin­non said.

Many of the rep­re­sen­ta­tives who attended ei­ther had agri­cul­ture ex­pe­ri­ence or were will­ing to en­gage with those who did.

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

EX­PE­RI­ENCED: Richard Kin­non spoke about the im­por­tance of re­silience and co­op­er­a­tion.

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