What if there were no farmers could we feed ourselves from our backyards?

The team at Picture You in Agriculture has been surveying young people between the ages of 8 and 18 and adults with a tertiary education for 15 years to get an understanding of their images and perceptions of the industry that feeds and clothes us.

To see whether the community realises the depth and breadth of the role Australian farmers play in not only feeding and clothing us as well as managing  60% of the land in Australia we ask them three questions.

The answer to only one of these three questions is well known. The exact statistic is blurry depending on who is collating the data and their classification of what constitutes a “farmer”. Irrespective of that challenge Australians know Australian farmers look after a big chunk of Australia.

This year we decided to create a graphic to raise awareness of these facts. The below graphic is the first iteration.

The source of the data is the fabulous Climate Works Australia Interactive 

These statistics are important because:

  • Australian farmers produce enough food to feed 3 x the population of Australia. This means Australia is food self sufficient or food independent (see footnote)  and that’s pretty impressive and very rare.
  • Its imperative that Australian farmers have profitable, climate resilient farming systems because who is going to look after 60% of Australia if we don’t have farmers?
  • Australia is the hottest, driest continent. Water is a precious resource. Our soils are fragile. It is imperative our farmers be the best they can be

Above are the facts below is the reality

  • The majority of Australians think we import 50% of our food !!!!!
  • Australians know our farmers look after up to 60% of the Australia’s land.
  • The majority of Australians think we can grow fruit and vegetables. (horticulture) and crops on all our farmland.

Feeding and clothing people is a big responsibility and it is a risky business 

Not only do:

  • we want access to food when we need it (food security),
  • we want it to be affordable,
  • we want it to be safe, and
  • we want it to be nutritious.

And if we are forward thinking we want more

We want Australia’s land and waterways to be able to supply it for generations to come whilst ensuring we can live in harmony with all the magnificent wildlife we have here

How do we rank compared to the rest of the world?

Its pretty shocking that 1 in 5 Australians go to bed hungry every night yet 30% of us are obese and our environmental record is definitely one area we can do better  


This is why it is a shared responsibility. It takes a village and more. Partnerships between those who produce ( farmers) and those who consume ( all of us) are so important and this is why our team love what we do.


“Food security” means being able to afford to access to adequate and sufficient food, regardless of where it comes from.

“Food self-sufficiency” is when we grow all the food we need, right here in Australia .

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

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