Universally it is recognised that we need to practice farming methods that optimise the natural environment and efficiently produce a nutritious and secure food supply. For this to occur, we need to ensure a renewable crop of skilled primary producers remain in agriculture so that our land is farmed in a sustainable manner that avoids irreversible damage.
Across Australia the family farm has proven to be the most effective and efficient way to sustainably produce food and manage the land. However for some time now, this model has been challenged with decreasing terms of trade and difficult climatic events.
“There is a movement to connect back to the planet and do the ‘right thing’.”
The majority of money made on farms is tied up in operations, leaving little or no funds for sustainable farming options, technology and advancement. On top of this many family farms have high debt and interest repayments which severely limit their choices in the day to day running of their farms. Farmers are under threat of becoming an endangered species with debt and uncertainty about the future resulting in skilled workers leaving the land in droves.
This is catastrophic for our future, as these farmers are taking generations of agricultural knowledge with them.
Young farmers are also finding it difficult to see primary production as a viable career path and are taking job opportunities elsewhere. On top of this, the land itself is also being threatened with mounting pressure to maximise production in an endeavour to attain profit rather than optimising the land for the future.
“Food is the energy that powers the people of the planet. Farmers are the producers of that vital commodity and the Earth the ground force. Innovation and collaboration are key words for sustainable success in the future.”
The solution lies in working together with a system for farmers that increases economic stability thus protecting the land for future generations.