At first glance, you might think that an event like National Agriculture Day doesn’t apply to you.
As a celebration of the nation’s farming industry, the day is a country-wide homage to the people who grow our food and fibre and the huge network of research, transport, logistics and value-add which springs forth from the farm gate.
But a quick look in your fridge, your pantry, your planter box and probably your wardrobe reveals that you are profoundly connected to this industry in everyday ways.
The butter you spread on your toast, the tomato seeds you plant in your vege patch and the cotton pj’s you pull out for summer all started life in the agricultural industry.
Participants in the agriculture industry come in many shapes and sizes.
The artisan breads and organic olive oil from Saturday morning’s farmers market are just as significant as the large-scale wheat farmer and the commercial egg producer.
Each of these growers is backed up by another layer of researchers, breeders, agronomists, scientists and consultants.
National Ag Day is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on an industry that is evolving to meet the challenges that a changing world is throwing at us.
Increasing world population growth, demand for cheaper access to healthier food and a changing climate means that by 2050, the world needs to double food production – and do it in a more challenging environment.
Clearly, Australia won’t feed the entire world. But as one of the trusted producers of safe, high quality raw commodities and value-added food products, we have an important role to play.
And that network of farmers and their support system will continue to innovate, adopt new technology and try new ways of producing more with less in pursuit of remaining one of the best agricultural industries in the world.
There are many individual stories of hard work and success in Australian agriculture and National Ag Day is a great opportunity to share those tales with the rest of Australia.
So when you’re making dinner tonight or pulling on your woolly ugg boots, make a note to join the celebrations on November 21 and use National Ag Day to find out exactly where your food and clothes come from and who helped them on their way.
- Tony May is the managing director for Monsanto Australia.