Celebrating the long list of “doers” in agriculture


This week has made me smile. Two seemingly unrelated things happened at once.

I got an email from a lovely lady in cotton who questioned the accuracy of a statistic I had just released and at the same time I had a request to answer this question

Who are your role models both professionally in the ag sector and then in the general public arena, and why you look up to these people?

I have been asked a similar question a number of times over the last 10 years and I was amused how quickly I replied this time compared the two weeks of in-depth reflection that went into this answer   

I was able to reel off a list of people I see as role models and the characteristics that I value and why I value them and why those people are important for me personally

I admire 

  •  Brave and independent thinkers
  • Doers and people who connect doers.
  • People who selflessly share their knowledge and experience for the good of the whole
  • People who understand that the whole can’t thrive unless all the individual components of the whole thrive
  • People you know have got your back.  

I look up to these people because they have all these qualities and they also recognise my fragility and they keep me grounded and feeling safe

It was an interesting exercise. I divided my list into gender and people over 40 and under 40 and I look forward to reviewing that list and the ratios in another 10 years time.

Doers 1

Now how does this relate to my statistical error problem?  Well up until the Australian Year of the Farmer (AYOF) in 2012 nobody in Australia had ever told the story of Australian agriculture in an eye catching way.

Thanks to the AYOF team we are now telling Australian Agriculture’s story in a way that appeals to the diverse audiences our sector wants to reach.  Because the necessary statistics were not easily accessible at that point in time, the  AYOF team relied on American statistics to determine how many people Australian farmers feed

This is AYOF video


This is the real story after AYOF provided the little kick up the derriere needed

Now as you can see there is a big difference between US Farmers with respect to this statistic

AYOF 2012

and Australian farmers

Art4Ag 2012

As it turns out the Australian Farm Institute’s Mick Keogh reviewed those figures last year and announced 1 Australian farmer now feeds 700 people.

Through The Archibull Prize our Young Farming Champions are able to test various scenarios and find out what information and graphics and styles of presenting resonate with young people thinking about careers in our sector

This year the Young Farming Champions have found this exercise of students identifying all the careers in the production chain for their allocated industry of study has really turned the lights on about the diversity of careers in agriculture


So back to my statistical stuff up, recognising the AYOF video had been viewed many many many many more times than the follow up. I went into overdrive in my efforts to recall my mistake and get the correct statistic out there in its place.

We are all busy people and when you want the right answer you go straight to the source . What a frustrating time that was – it reminded me just how much time some people choose to spend telling you how busy they are, in preference to looking up something they have at their fingertips.

It also reminded me what an awesome resource the Australian Farm Institute is. Kudos to the team of doers and bright minds this organisation always attracts.

Now that I am confident in my stats and very grateful to my never toooooooooooooo busy graphic artist I can spend my weekend recalling the previous competition flyer and getting the right one out there.


13599_Picture You in Agriculture Flyer _Page_1      13599_Picture You in Agriculture Flyer _Page_2

And I look forward to finding the time to raising a toast to all the doers in my life. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to identify them all this week  and see just how long that list was

Please note readers.

I dont always get it right.  Please dont hesitate to contact me if you spot something you think i should revisit

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life