Public thanks farmers for critical food and fibre

19 December 2023

Hundreds of messages gathered on National Agriculture Day have been collated as the ultimate Christmas gift to Australian farmers.

Now in its seventh year, Ag Day – or #AgDayAU – allows all Australians to celebrate and learn about farming and the production of food and fibre.

A month on from the event and into the festive season, which also marks the busy harvest period for many Australian farmers, NFF President David Jochinke said it was perfect timing to share some of the positive messages and outcomes from Ag Day with the ag sector.

“From regional community events to school barbecues, right through to celebrations in city centres, it was great to see people take the time to stop and appreciate the hard work our Aussie farmers do each day to keep food on our tables and clothes on our backs,” Mr Jochinke said.

Mr Jochinke said these celebrations were especially pertinent following a survey earlier this year finding farmer wellbeing had declined at an alarming rate.

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The NFF partnered with Norco – Australia’s oldest and largest 100% farmer-owned dairy co-operative – to commission the National Farmer Wellbeing Report, which showed 30% of farmers reported a decline in their mental health due to natural disasters, financial stress and inflation and cost pressures.

Mr Jochinke said more than three-quarters (76%) of Australian farmers also believed the role they play was undervalued by the Australian public.

“It’s distressing so many farmers feel undervalued, which is why shining the spotlight on them and encouraging people to take the time to understand our agricultural production systems is so important,” he said.

Allowing the community to say thank you to Australian farmers was the cornerstone of John Deere’s inaugural National Ag Day events in the Central Business Districts of Brisbane and Melbourne.

John Deere Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Luke Chandler, said it was heart-warming to see the enthusiasm shown by members of the public to recognise agriculture at both the displays.

“We had a ‘thank-a-farmer’ wall at each event, where members of the community could write a message of thanks and show their appreciation to Australian farmers,” Mr Chandler said.

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“People were lining up to write these messages, and by the end of the day, the walls were full of hundreds of positive messages from people from all ages and walks of life.

“It is our honour to share some of those messages with the NFF, so they can pass this feeling of goodwill on to their members and Aussie farmers.”

Mr Jochinke visited the John Deere Melbourne event and said the support the public showed for Australian farmers was inspirational.

“I was fortunate to have many conversations with people during the day and each expressed their gratitude for the work our farmers undertake in extreme and challenging conditions,” he said.

“Watching the wall fill up with heart-filled messages truly was a highlight for me.

“It’s something that I know our farmers will appreciate, especially heading into the holiday season.”