Farm­ers tell their side of story

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE - NA­DINE O’NEILL

A ‘ CAN DO’ at­ti­tude has launched Char­ters Tow­ers woman Kylie Stret­ton into the lime­light as a fierce ad­vo­cate for the graz­ing com­mu­nity.

When live ship­ments to In­done­sia were tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended in 2011 af­ter footage of bru­tal slaugh­ter­ing meth­ods and mis­treat­ment at In­done­sian abat­toirs went vi­ral, Kylie and her hus­band Shane, a live­stock agent, felt the im­me­di­ate ef­fects.

“It was a dev­as­tat­ing time for the in­dus­try. It was heart­break­ing to see gra­ziers un­able to sell.

“The media and groups with anti- farm­ing, anti- meat agen­das were re­lent­less in por­tray­ing the in­dus­try as hav­ing no re­gard for an­i­mal wel­fare. It went on and on.

“I got re­ally mad. It was time to counter the mis­truths. It was time to fight smart.”

In 2012 Kylie founded Ask an Aussie Farmer, an online blog, to ed­u­cate Aus­tralians about the agri­cul­ture com­mu­nity.

A group of eight beef pro­duc­ers, in­clud­ing Kylie, vol­un­tar­ily ad­min­is­ter the site.

It is a space for farm­ers to tell their sto­ries and for ev­ery­day Aussies to ask farm­ers ques­tions about the in­dus­try.

Since the launch of Ask An Aussie Farmer, Kylie has been in­vited to speak at schools through­out the state about the agri­cul­tural sec­tor, some­thing she rel­ishes be­cause she sees it as bridg­ing the gap.

Kylie Stret­ton.

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