With the kind and enthusiastic support of Her Excellency Quentin Bryce our Governor General
we reproduce some of her excellent Australia Day Speech:
‘The wonderful Farmers’ Markets which are springing up all around our towns and cities also provide the opportunity for city families to talk to the farmers who grow their food. The combination of groaning tables of super-fresh vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes, flowers and preserves, and a chat to the farmers who produced them, is proving irresistible for town and city people -many of whom return every fortnight or every months to renew their connection.
But the Australian Year of the Farmer is not just about tourism and fresh veggies. Its purpose is to celebrate all those who contribute – and have contributed – to our rich rural history. In doing so, it will introduce Australians to the farmer of today, and smash a few stereotypes in the process.
In the world of the 21st century farmer, we find people who are environmentally-aware, innovative, tertiary-educated, global, entrepreneurial and collegiate. Primary producers today are a different breed to their parents and grandparents. The love of the land is still deeply ingrained, but to make money – and they must be profitable to survive – they have become masters of numerous skills, and technologically adept.
They understand land and water management, laser levelling, remote sensing, GPS management, conservation agriculture, organics, biodynamics and, overall, their role in national and global food security. Perhaps these are new labels for traditional concepts, but today’s farmers employ cutting edge technology that would baffle office workers in the cities.
Technology is powering Australia’s farming future.’