NSW Farmers is vital to achieving better farm policy

By Bec Reardon - NSW Farmers' Grains Committee (vice chair)

More than 80 farmers from the Moree district gathered at the Moree Town and Country Club for a forum put on by our local NSW Farmers’ district councils recently. We discussed some of the key issues impacting the bottom lines of growers and heard directly from farmers working behind the scenes on our behalf.

NSW Farmers is made up of many volunteers across our state who have real expertise and experience both on farm and in what is going on beyond the farm gate that impacts our businesses. They give up their valuable time purely to progress agriculture and to get a better deal for all of us.

The forum allowed our local growers to hear from these volunteers and get an insight into the big issues NSW Farmers is working on. Feedback from those present was that a $400 membership represented an investment in their farming business.  Personally the 10 months I have been actively involved in NSW Farmers has reinforced the value of farmers sharing a voice through the association.

The morning session was a question and answer session with Industrial Relations Manager Gracia Kusuma focusing on employment issues like contracts. Having used Gracia and her team on our farm I know the huge benefit it is to have access to them as part of our membership.

Cameron Rowntree gave us an insight into the association’s lobbying on the Native Vegetation Act and the efforts to try and fix a devastating piece of legislation for farmers. He highlighted how politics can override good sense and reinforced the need to pressure local politicians to support the actions of farm representatives in Sydney.

Rob Eassie and I talked about how the grain supply chain is the biggest cost to a growers bottom line and the opportunities to make improvements that will benefit us. We also focused on the work undertaken by NSW

Farmers in obtaining the NSW Grain Harvest Management Scheme and provided an update on grain standards and the recent GRDC review.

As someone who has always operated in both commercial agribusiness and on our farm I am convinced NSW Farmers is vital to achieving better farm policy in NSW and Australia for the benefit of all farmers.

With plans for NSW Farmers’ policy staff to visit many of our district councils before next year’s annual conference,

I strongly urge growers to attend and to get informed about what is happening behind the scenes.

Published: The Land

4 December 2014 


Contact: Justin Crosby

Phone: crosbyj@nswfarmers.org.au

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