Ru­ral is­sue sparks so­cial me­dia de­bate

Central and North Rural Weekly - - PLANT WEEK - GEORDI OF­FORD Geordi.of­ford@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

DIS­CUS­SION about the av­er­age age of a farmer be­ing close to 60 has ig­nited on so­cial me­dia af­ter Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics re­vealed the av­er­age age of a pri­mary pro­ducer was 57.

Last week, the Ru­ral Weekly spoke to mem­bers of the sugar, dairy, beef and cot­ton in­dus­tries to get their in­sights on why they think there are less young peo­ple own­ing farms.

They all agreed fi­nan­cial hard­ship was an is­sue and read­ers had their own opin­ions on the mat­ter.

One reader, who goes by the name of Pawns on the Bbq on Face­book, said farm­ers were con­vinced they should be send­ing their chil­dren to univer­sity to make a liv­ing in the fu­ture.

“Over­seas in­vest­ment had priced the next gen­er­a­tion out of the mar­ket and the simple costs and red tape en­forced by those in of­fice are driv­ing farm­ing into a get big or get out sce­nario,” they said.

“Thus again forc­ing young farm­ers to find al­ter­na­tive means of mak­ing a liv­ing while over­seas com­pa­nies drive our farm­ing in­dus­try into the ground.”

An­other reader, Craig Della,

said the govern­ment should lend fu­ture pro­duc­ers a hand.

“They should be in­tro­duc­ing low in­ter­est rate loans for young guys who re­ally want to give it a crack,” he said.

SUP­PORT­ING AG: Aaron Kiely said he be­lieved more govern­ment help would be ideal. PHOTO: FILE

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