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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2009
CA TTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA YEARBOOK 2009 Executive Director’s Report united We stand There is no doubt that the Australian beef industry is vibrant, passionate and resilient. Regardless of climatic conditions besieging producers, the rising cost of doing business throughout the supply chain or increased competition on the domestic and in export markets, this industry never seems to look backward, only forward. H owever, quite apart from day-to-day challenges that flow from the complexities of an $A11 billion pa industry, falling membership of some farmer organisations remains one of our biggest challenges. There have been numerous literary assessments that interrogate the very same problem facing some farm organisations, that is, that individuals are less likely to join organisations anymore and contribute to the not-for-profit social good. So it seems that we are not alone in our endeavours to better understand the social shift that has occurred over the past few decades. And as author Robert Putnam says in his novel ‘Bowling Alone: The collapse and revival of American Community’, Americans are now less likely to join ten pin bowling clubs; they have now even reverted to ‘bowling alone’. Be it Rotary, Apex, the local Bridge club, farming organisations, or even ten pin bowling so it seems, society is becoming less engaged in team activities. All producers, be they the younger generation or the not so young, male or female, large or not so large land holders – now is the time to consolidate. Agriculture is no different. State farmer organisations have long been the mainstay behind farmer representation in Australia. Given that many of the laws that apply to farming businesses are of a state jurisdiction, coupled with Australia’s well-entrenched federated structure, it is essential that identifiable and visible state organisations prosper. All producers, be they the younger generation or the not so young, male or female, large or not so large land holders – now is the time to consolidate. Cattle Council is comprised of state farmer organisations, all of whom have travelled a similar but different journey, as has the Cattle Council. This year marks the 30th Anniversary since structures were formed around the National Farmers’ Federation in 1979, and hence the formation of Cattle Council. This long and proud history is evident as Cattle Council enjoys the fearless, daily contribution from Councillors around Australia as we develop policy direction for our industry With more than 6 billion people on Earth, with a forecast 9 billion human inhabitants by 2050, the competition for scarce resources like food will become increasingly obvious. There are enormous challenges and opportunities ahead. However, with a growing trend of questioning and criticising agricultural practices, now more than ever in our history is the time for farmers to band together. 14 1117_CCA Yearbook 2009.indd 14 5/5/09 7:59:47 PM