South Australian cereal grower, John Gladigau has been inundated with support after posting his thoughts on drought on social media.
Mr Gladigau was prompted to post the message on the Facebook page of his farming business, Bulla Burra, on Sunday after watching coverage of the federal drought relief announcement and the ensuing backlash from some sectors of rural Australia.
The post, which outlines the complexities around providing drought support, asks farmers not to criticise those trying to help.
“I was frustrated when I saw on Twitter tonight where ex pollie Peter Beattie offered two free NRL finals tickets to all farmers doing it tough in the drought. I would argue that is a kind gesture...And yet, overwhelmingly the response on social media was scorn and derision, asking how farmers could possible afford to leave their starving stock even for a short time and stating how out of touch he was with the situation. When people make a genuine gesture from the heart in support of farmers and are ridiculed in this way, it does nothing to foster city/country relations,” the post reads.
Mr Gladigau, who farms 10,000ha in the Northern Mallee region where they are experiencing the lowest rainfall on record for the year, said he had been overwhelmed by the response to the post.
At the time of writing, the post had been shared 375 times.
“I’ve had some media calling, a lot of farmers and a lot of farm advisers and rural financial counsellors which was interesting,” he said.
“They were basically saying - you’ve just said what we don’t feel we can say. I haven’t had a negative response yet.”
Mr Gladigau said he simply wanted to highlight that the response from some sectors of the farming community would not help bridge the gap between the city and country.
“I just wanted to put a balanced view of the drought and encourage a more meaningful dialogue,” he said.