Speaker getting farmers out of their comfort zone
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.
EXPERIENCED: Richard Kinnon spoke about the importance of resilience and cooperation.