Australian Year of the Farmer

The Governor-General Ms Quentin Bryce AC, has officially launched the ‘Australian Year of the Farmer’ at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens in conjunctionwith Ambassador Glenn McGrath and his wife Sara, and Natalie Gruzlewski, host of Television’s Farmer Wants a Wife. Designed to celebrate the contribution farmers make to the Australian economy and community, the Australian Year of the Farmer 2012 is an education and awareness campaign founded by a not-for-profit, non-political organisation.

Conceived by NSW-based farmer Philip Bruem AM, and former Sydney Markets CEO Geoff Bell, Australian Year of the Farmer 2012 is a year-long program of activities that will celebrate the contribution farmers and rural communities make to our national economy and society.

“Australian Year of the Farmer recognises what farmers do for all Australians. Australia’s farmers should be recognised and celebrated: for feeding the nation, for leading the world in farming techniques and innovation, and for sustaining the vital agribusinesses that underpin our

economy. Farmers are the providers of our nation,” Mr Bruem said.

“Every person who eats food is connected to farming. Every person who wears a wool coat is connected to farming. Every person who has timber in their house construction or sits at a wooden table is connected to farming.

“We encourage all Australians to reflect on the origins of the food they consume and the fibre and other products they use every day and to seek out and buy Australian produce wherever possible,” he said. Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Joe Ludwig, said the year-long celebration would highlight how Australia is leading the world in farming techniques and innovation.

“I congratulate the founders of Australian Year of the Farmer for creating this program, which I believe will highlight the essential role of Australian agriculture to the maintenance of national and global food security.

“It will showcase the role our farmers play as environmental managers, creating and delivering sustainability through best practice management,” Senator Ludwig said.

As part of the Australian Year of the Farmer program, a range of events, initiatives and educational programs will be rolled out across the nation throughout 2012. Highlights will include a nine-vehicle ‘One Country Roadshow’ travelling more than 56,000kms to attend more than 400 events.

A non-political, not-for profit organisation, Australian Year of the Farmer is made possible by Foundation Partners Elders and Woolworths, and major partners Fairfax Media, oOH! Media, Toyota and PMP. Seed funding for the development of the Year was provided by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry with support from all States and Territory governments.

Attending the launch, AUSVEG Chairman John Brent said the often unsung heroes of Australia are finally being given the acknowledgement and accolades they deserve.

“It is with great recognition that we place our farmers and growers in the spotlight and celebrate the multitude of goods and services that they provide to this country,” said Mr Brent.  Ω