IN an era when the agriculture sector is calling for national unity, purpose and strength, Tuesday, November 21 may well mark the moment Australian farming took the first step toward flexing its considerable muscle.
Conceived by Australian businesswoman Gina Rinehart and championed by the National Farmers Federation, the inaugural National Agriculture Day, or AgDay for short, has given this great industry an enormous opportunity to build further cohesion among all food, fibre and foliage producing sectors.
If agriculture is looking for that 'one voice' to advocate and agitate on the national political stage, then AgDay indicates the goal is not as elusive as some would argue.
The mission for NFF and other project allies and partners is how to take the momentum of AgDay forward in a way that will be both helpful and meaningful.
Fairfax Agricultural Media, publisher of this masthead and the country's largest farm-focused media company, has been proud to be the initiative's foundation and exclusive media partner.
Since the beginning of the month, our newsrooms across Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia have profiled farmers and industry leaders for their views on the day's significance.
We've paid tribute to the industry's track record of innovation, honoured its resilient and optimistic spirit and highlighted the many opportunities for growth and success on the horizon.
We've also heard from countless heads of some of Australia's biggest agribusinesses on why they support a national day that recognises and celebrates agricultural enterprise.
But it’s not just about preaching to the converted. Through the wider Fairfax network, of some 160 newspapers and websites servicing the heart of rural and regional Australia, we've taken the positive farm message to a potential audience of nearly four million people.
For farmers who battle weather, pests, market fluctuations, input cost pressures, isolation, unhelpful government regulation and misguided anti-farming activism, we hope our coverage provides some heartening reading - demonstrating how much farming's contribution to the nation's wealth and health is appreciated.
It’s our hope that this day becomes a real and meaningful fixture on the national calendar. Happy Ag Day to you all.