I remember when I was returning to the farm and still doing a few shifts in pharmacy and I would meet new people and they asked me what was my day job I would alternate between saying I was a farmer and a pharmacist
I remember vividly the day some -one replied “That’s an esoteric career” when I said I was a farmer . ( BTW I had to look up the word esoteric later)
This inspired me to go on a journey and work with the Action4Agriculture Young Farming Champions to “normalise” careers in agriculture.
How are we doing that?
We start by telling people agriculture- farming, food and fibre is so much more than the farm
- It starts before the farm with custodianship of the land and the sea.
- It progresses to encompass the farm itself;
- The stage between the farm gate and the point of sale, which includes value-adding; and shaping of, and by, buyers’ preferences.
- Throughout the process, there is a significant supply chain component.
- None of the players in any of these stages stands alone. They are all linked in a web of interdependencies, where harm to one weakens the whole (for example, poor labour hire practices injure the reputation of the whole sector); and, conversely, enhancement of one strengthens the whole (for example, a focus on continuous learning in one industry spills over into another).
- Cooperation among the players in the various stages benefits the entire sector more than if one gains a temporary benefit by disadvantaging another.
- Unlike the 20th century, the 21st century has seen a growing realisation in the various elements of the Australian agriculture (farming, food and fibre) sector that they all hang together, and that cooperation is more constructive than conflict.
Then we go on a journey to show and tell and highlight:
We talk about where the growth jobs in agriculture will be in the future
And we advocate to ensure that everyone feels physically, emotionally and identity safe in their workplaces
And we share this with the world in our monthly Muster