Na­tional farmer cam­paign

Southern Riverina news - - - By EL­IZ­A­BETH REID

2012 is be­ing cel­e­brated as the Year of the Farmer!

I am part of a na­tional road­show team which has started a na­tion wide cam­paign to raise aware­ness of the con­tri­bu­tion Aus­tralian farm­ers make to sus­tain­ing our way of life, our com­mu­ni­ties and our econ­omy.

The year-long pro­gram will reach out to Aus­tralians from all walks of life through a na­tional pro­gram of ac­tiv­i­ties and events with ma­jor me­dia sup­port.

Aus­tralian Year of the Farmer (AYOF) will be hit­ting the re­gion on March 30 and 31 for the Mur­ray Val­ley In­dus­try Park Farm­ing In­no­va­tion and Tech­nol­ogy Expo.

It will re­turn later in the year for the De­niliquin Ute Muster on Septem­ber 28 and 29.

The na­tional road­show will con­sist of nine ve­hi­cles driv­ing across the na­tion at­tend­ing var­i­ous events rang­ing from lo­cal shows, field days, in­dus­try ex­pos, ma­jor cul­tural events, V8 su­per­cars, sport­ing events, mu­sic and com­edy fes­ti­vals.

The road­show pro­vides a great op­por­tu­nity for AYOF to in­ter­act with the gen­eral public whilst en­ter­tain­ing and ed­u­cat­ing all Aus­tralians in met­ro­pol­i­tan, ru­ral and re­gional ar­eas.

The road­show ex­hibits con­tain a wealth of ma­te­rial sup­plied by our foun­da­tion part­ners, spon­sors and proud sup­port­ers.

A sig­nif­i­cant el­e­ment of the road­show is the chil­dren’s paint­ing com­pe­ti­tion – to pro­mote aware­ness of agri­cul­ture in­dus­try and ‘where your food comes from’ for school chil­dren.

An­other im­por­tant el­e­ment is to en­cour­age more Aus­tralians to pe­ruse ca­reers in agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness.

The road­show will pro­vide in­ter­ac­tive ma­te­ri­als pro­mot­ing the many op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ist in the sec­tor.

The Aus­tralian Year of the Farmer will raise the pro­file of farm­ing, high­light­ing the im­por­tance of food se­cu­rity and our de­pen­dence on the Aus­tralian farmer.

Es­pe­cially, it will re­mind city dwellers of the im­por­tance our farm­ers have on feed­ing, cloth­ing and hous­ing us all.

AYOF is a non-po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion that aims to pro­vide a cat­a­lyst for a na­tional fo­cus on farm­ing.

To­day’s farm­ers pro­duce more with less ev­ery year and thanks to their in­no­va­tion and ded­i­ca­tion we’re now con­tribut­ing to global food se­cu­rity and sup­ply. We want more Aus­tralians to ap­pre­ci­ate that.

Our farm­ers are the lifeblood of our na­tion and this is one of the great­est sto­ries never told.

In 2012 we will tell this story for all Aus­tralians to value and en­joy.

Our farm­ers are our fu­ture and dur­ing 2012 I will be en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple I meet to re­flect on the ori­gins of the food they con­sume and per­pet­u­ate the call to buy Aus­tralian pro­duce.

To find out more, visit: www.yearofthe­ .

■ El­iz­a­beth Reid is a lo­cal me­dia grad­u­ate

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