Cassidy calls for farmers to be feted as national heroes


October 7, 2015

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Cindy Cassidy, NSW/ACT 2015 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award winner, officially opened the 2015 Henty Machinery Field Days.

The nation’s farmers should be feted as heroes as they hold down the single most important job in the country, according to 2015 NSW/ACT RIRDC Rural Women’s Award winner Cindy Cassidy.

Ms Cassidy, chief executive officer of grower network FarmLink, paid tribute to the role farmers’ play in Australia’s food and fibre security in her address while officially opening the 2015 Henty Machinery Field Days.

“I believe innovation and research are key to securing our farming future. The Henty Machinery Field Days, with its focus on innovation, are bringing people together to share and learn,’’ Ms Cassidy said.

“It’s a fabulous example of how our farmers can be supported in their adoption of new technologies and ideas,’’ she said.

“When I think about the future of farming in this country, I envisage productive, profitable, sustainable farms, prosperous, healthy farming families and vibrant, robust rural communities.

“It’s a future that is as positive as it is achievable. Achieving this vision is dependent on recognition at a social and government level of the important role that our farmers play.’’

Ms Cassidy said focusing on the mental, social, physical, financial well being of farmers needed to be a national priority in order to secure the future of farming.

“Farmers should be feted as heroes – they have the single most important job in the country and regardless what the rest of us do with our day, it is farmers who are truly putting dinner on the table, the shirt on our back or woolly beni on our head,’’ she said.

A key determinant of the future of Australian farming is the ability of farmers to adapt to environmental, social, economic and technological change.

Agricultural research is the key to creation of new ideas and technologies in response to change.

“As a nation, we invest $470 million a year in agricultural research however it is a development of those technologies and ideas into practices that can be adopted on farm, and the act of supporting farmers in their adoption that sees us overcome constraints and create more productive, profitable and sustainable farms,’’ Ms Cassidy said.

“If we are to help farmers adapt, then we must recognise that real skill is required to transfer R & D outcomes on to the farm.

“Successful investment strategies to help farmers adopt R & D outcomes are based on the understanding that, as adults learning in the workplace, farmers most often learn from one another.

“They learn from seeing it in action and by experiencing it in a social environment. Similarly, our investment strategy should focus on the role that all members of the farming family – men, women and children living and working on farms are the drivers of their current and future success.

“All of these factors are epitomised by Henty Machinery Field Days and also by farming groups like FarmLink.’’

Ms Cassidy said the Henty Machinery Field Days, with its focus on innovation, brought people together to share and learn.

“It’s a fabulous example of how our farmers can be supported in their adoption of new technologies and ideas,’’ she said.

 

 

 

 

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