Sunday, March 13, 2011

Calling all farmers to open their gates this FarmDay

Australia’s agricultural sector has experienced a difficult start to the year but an initiative to educate urban families on the business of farming and food production may well provide the confidence and backing the industry needs to get back on its feet.

On Australia’s annual FarmDay, held on the weekend of 28 and 29 May 2011, farmers across the country are encouraged to open their gates and welcome a city family to spend a day on their farm.

Since 2007, close to 1000 city families have visited working farms around the country on FarmDay to gain a better understanding and appreciation of this important industry.

FarmDay is calling on farmers to consider hosting a family this year with registrations for hosts now open.

“Now, more than ever, it’s important for our industry to demonstrate the work that we do under complex circumstances to make sure there’s great Australian food on family tables around the country,” says FarmDay Founder, Deb Bain.

“We’ve found that the city families who have participated in FarmDay are now our greatest advocates in metropolitan areas and are educating their friends and family on the importance of supporting Australia’s farmers.

“It’s a great chance for individual farmers and farming families to promote agriculture to urban Australia,” she said.

“By spending a day on a farm during FarmDay, urban families gain a better understanding of where food comes from and what impacts supply, as well as appreciating the lifestyle and choices that farming families make every day.

“Our research indicates that 90 percent of city families participating in FarmDay come away with a better understanding of the role of farming in their daily lives and 98 percent are more likely to buy Australian produce as a result,” Deb says.

“In order to gain a greater level of understanding and support from urban Australia, it is important to provide them with an opportunity to see the great work that we do firsthand.

It’s so important that urban families understand how their food and fibre is produced and the impact that events like the January floods on the east coast and fires and drought on the west coast have on agricultural production and supply.

“I’d strongly encourage farmers to get involved in this important initiative by registering to host a city family at”

FarmDay is a not-for profit organisation proudly supported by Meat and Livestock Australia.

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