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Jochinke lands president role


Murra Warra grain and livestock farmer David Jochinke has been elected National Farmers’ Federation president.

Mr Jochinke had served as NFF vicepresid­ent since 2017 and was previously Victorian Farmers’ Federation president from 2016 to 2020.

Mr Jochinke said he was grateful to the NFF membership for its support.

“I want to thank the members for trusting me to lead the NFF at such an important moment,” he said.

“Australian agricultur­e has so much opportunit­y ahead of it as we continue striving for our $100 billion vision.

“But right now, we’re also facing enormous challenges – from a difficult season in many parts of the country to a trying policy environmen­t in Canberra.

“I look forward to working hard for farmers across Australia to give them a say on the issues facing the sector.”

Georgie Somerset of Durong in Queensland and Tony York of Tammin in Western Australia were also nominated for president.

Mr Jochinke said he spoke to both nominees, and they remained committed to pushing forward agricultur­al issues on behalf of farmers.

Fiona Simson is the outgoing president after serving seven years in the role.

“Fiona has not only been able to cut through with our policy, but also unite the agricultur­e industry as she goes,” Mr Jochinke said.

“Her style is very inclusive and collaborat­ive and I am very thankful to be part of her team, but now is a chance for me to step up and advance both the organisati­on and the message of Australian agricultur­e.

“I like to believe I am both friendly and approachab­le, but also very hard-nosed when it comes to policy outcomes.”

‘Keep Farmers Farming’

Speaking at the National Farmers’ Federation national conference in Canberra, on his first official day as president, Mr Jochinke launched the ‘Keep Farmers Farming’ campaign.

“Farmers have always put food on the table for Australian­s and clothes on our backs, but decisions are being made in Canberra that will make it harder to do so,” he said.

“They’re taking away the water, land and workers needed to grow food.

“That means fewer farmers doing what they do and when farmers grow less, everyone pays more.”

The national campaign will focus on key issues such as water buybacks in the Murray-darling Basin; proposed ban on live sheep exports to the Middle East; worker shortages on farms and in the food supply chain; environmen­t laws; transmissi­on lines; and competitio­n policy.

Mr Jochinke urged farmers and consumers to unite behind the campaign and show their support by signing an open letter to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, contacting their local MP or making a donation to the campaign.

“We need support to ensure we have the right policies that help keep farmers farming,” he said.

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