Home' National Farmers Federation : Annual Review 2009-2010 Contents 46 NATIONAL FARMERS' FEDERATION ANNUAL REVIEW 2009-10
campaign. (For more information see the
Drought preparedness in a changing climate
feature on pages18-23)
Overwhelming, people supported Australian
farmers in their bid to proactively manage
environmental challenges, including climate
change, and that the Government has a
key role in supporting farmers based on
their modern economic and environmental
importance to Australia.
Interestingly, while those strongly agreeing
with the NFF's messages remained steady
around 70% (that is, those rating the messages
a 10, 9, 8, etc.), the major movement came from
people disagreeing with the NFF's messages
-- falling from 17% at the beginning of the
campaign down to 6% by the end.
This means an astonishing 94% agreed
with the NFF's messages and, subsequently,
the NFF's positioning of modern farming
engenders informed support.
Where to now?
The job is never nished. People are ckle and
they forget. Part of the problem in the past has
been the farm sector had forgotten to tell its
story in terms the broader community values
and will accept.
This is now a fundamental feature of what the
NFF does every day.
The NFF's 2007 market research also revealed
that public information gaps linger. While
metropolitan people recognise and accept
"farmers do things di erently today" and
support the economic and environmental role
the sector plays, they struggle to get a handle
on what exactly that is.
Frankly, this is less important than acceptance,
at a gut level, that farmers are important and
doing the right thing.
Nevertheless, we want to ll these gaps, at least
as much as possible. This requires a longer-
term strategy, so the NFF is involved in the
The NFF has been a strong supporter of
FarmDay since its inception in 2007. It brings
families from metropolitan Australia to farms
for a day of activities and practical insights into
modern farming over a weekend each May.
The FarmDay theme is 'fun, friendship and
understanding' and farmers from all over
Australia have embraced the opportunity to
interact with city families and provide fun,
educational tours around their properties to
explain the inner workings of modern farming.
Farmers throwing open their gates to a city
family for a day is a great way to break down
barriers to metropolitan understanding about
modern farm practices, provides unique hands-
on experiences and the ability to answer all
those "where does that come from?" and "why
do they do that?" questions -- dispelling myths
in the process.
The more farmers that take part the better
the chance of correcting misunderstandings,
while also showing why Australian farmers are
renowned the world over for their clean, green,
safe and high quality produce.
In 2010 FarmDay ran over 29-30 May, attracting
320 metropolitan families. Survey results
show that city people leave farms with not
only a greater understanding of how modern
Australian farms operate, but more aware of
the role farming plays in their daily lives.
Primary Industry Education
The Primary Industry Education Foundation
(PIEF) was o cially launched last year. It is a
not-for-pro t company providing stimulating,
factual and educationally-relevant materials
about modern agriculture for use in Australia's
11,000 primary and secondary schools.
The NFF is a founding member and driving
force behind the creation of the PIEF, having
brought together agricultural groups,
educators, peak bodies and the Australian
Government over 2006-09 to pioneer this
national resource to meet the educational
needs of schools, teachers and students that
transcend state-based curricula.
The classroom must be a forum for informed
discussion and debate, where information is
factual and the intellectual rigour underscoring
it is paramount. Neither the PIEF or the NFF
have any desire to tell teachers what or how to
teach, rather they are dedicated to providing
credible information about agriculture in a
way teachers can readily access, adapt and is
practical for use in classrooms.
The Federal Government's active involvement
as a member is an important partnership to
ensure teachers, students and parents can
have absolute con dence in the information,
materials and resources provided and/or
endorsed by the PIEF.
In June of 2009 the NFF launched its inaugural
annual National Congress -- a major two-day
event at the Brisbane Convention Centre. It was
a runaway success exceeding all expectations
in attracting 362 delegates, nine sponsors, 24
trade exhibition booths... all coming together
for a highly informative, entertaining and
network building event.
All aspects of event and venue management,
contract negotiations, website development,
sponsorship and trade exhibition materials and
sales, program topics and publications, speaker
identi cation and engagement, delegate
registration, accommodation, logistics and
promotion has been overseen and undertaken
by the NFF.
A key theme within the National Congress
The NFF continues its strong support of FarmDay,
which brought 320 city families and farmers
together in 2010 to shed light on real life
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