It is such a joy when the movement you started spreads its wings

Starting and sustaining a movement is both rewarding and exhausting. I have spent the last 15 years searching for organisations to work with that:

  • understand why agriculture is so conservative
  • acknowledge the barriers to innovation and change and
  • want to work with others to help our farmers turn perceived problems into opportunities.

I am at that point where I believe we have those partners and I can move on to the next chapter in my life

One of the greatest joys from my journey has been watching the emerging leaders we identity and train to be confident communicators who are curious about the world beyond the farmgate becoming changemakers and influencers in the agriculture sector.

They are innovators and life long learners and active in their communities and they are making things happen

This year’s innovation highlight has been the Leadership is Language series where they have identified thought leaders from across the globe to be part of this webcast series where they can share what they are learning with everyone.

The two most recent interviews are a must watch for everyone in the agriculture sector and every in business 

This is a heart wrenching interview What if you don’t come home? between Young Farming Champion Dione Howard and Austral CEO David Carter who shares how we can all learn from worker, health and safety mistakes

And our most recent interview with two extraordinarily courageous women in agriculture who exemplify anticipatory leadership discussing the Icky and the Ouchys of Social Licence

Catherine Marriot reminds us 

“Just because people don’t like hearing it, doesn’t actually make it any less true. And so the risks are still coming at us. I guess we can choose to address those risks and be proactive rather than reactive.” 

and Alison Penfold invites us to 

 “ get on the front foot and collectively work together so that we are in control of managing the risk.  Ensure we are not actually divesting it or delegating it to others, including government, to manage on our behalf. So I think anticipatory leadership is, for me, absolutely critical in any leadership job” says Alison Penfold  

“I think with anticipatory leadership, you need an extra special level of courage and clarity of communication skills, because you’re bringing up things that are pretty Icky and pretty Ouchy. And in order to put those across in a way that enables change, you need good communication skills” say Catherine Marriott

Mega proud of our team who are not only learning to lead themselves and lead others they are sharing what they learn with the world and multiplying their impact 

Happy National Ag Day everyone 

#AgDayAU #YouthinAg




Show me a farmer who doesn’t care

When the term ‘social licence to operate’ first came on the radar for agriculture in this country about six or seven year ago everyone looked wise and then rushed to the nearest bathroom to ask Dr Google what it meant

It’s one of those terms like sustainability that has a mind blowing number of definitions. 90% of them in a lingo nobody understands and far too many people used that excuse to put it in the too hard basket

For me as a farmer having a social licence means the community trusts that I care as much as they do about the environment, producing safe food, my employees and my animals that they don’t feel that it is necessary to ask the government to create an ad infinitum list of red and green tape regulations to make sure I do the right thing

The NSW Government has pulled social licence well and truly out of the too hard basket and put it very visibly on the table as part of their AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY ACTION PLAN DISCUSSION See here

I was very honoured and excited to be part of the discussion on the four social licence policy items proposed in the Industry Action Plan at the SOCIAL LICENCE TO OPERATE – CONNECTING WITH COMMUNITY workshop yesterday

I was also so proud to have one of the Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions as a speaker at the event. Josh Gibert’s topic was ‘Social Licence the Narrative’ and wow did Josh do a fantastic job. I will blog Josh’s presentation on Art4Agriculture Chat

Pip Courtney facilitated the event brilliantly and a number of actions were put forward at the end of the day.

I personally have no concept of why many of our farmers are tip toeing around social licence. After we all want the same thing as the community and our consumers.

Safe, affordable, nutritious food and quality fibre produced by people who care

Find me a farmer who doesn’t care because if you can that person doesn’t belong in agriculture and they need to be told that. I am confident that will be a very short list.

Agriculture has not told its story well and as a result we are often seen as a sunset industry in this state, Minister Katrina Hodgkinson MP, Director General Scott Hansen and their team are determined to shine the light on agriculture again.

Our farmers have a very important role to help them do that. Let’s start by making our journey a partnership with the community

After all we do want the same thing

Safe, affordable, nutritious food and quality fibre produced by people who care

Lets tell our story, take community on the journey with us and the narrative must be underpinned by why we do it.

MERCURY.WEEKENDER. Pic taken at Clover Hill Dairies Jamberoo for Two page feature and history and future of Clover Hill Dairies ..pic of Lynne Strong feeding some calves. pic by sylvia liber. 6 September 2006. job number 00065069 SPECIALX 00065069

Why am I feeding our calves?. Marian MacDonald tells you why here