There's no doubt that as a country during the past few months, Australia has experienced a unique set of challenges and circumstances due to COVID-19 that have prompted some unprecedented measures to protect the health of our community.
While our health is - and must always be - our main priority, our economy has been dealt an economic blow not seen for a generation.
As our attention slowly turns towards the recovery phase, Victorian agriculture has the potential to be a major contributor to our economic recovery - both for our regions and our state. But we need support to make this happen.
The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is calling for a government-backed campaign that sells the message that the agriculture industry can accommodate the demand for work, is recognised as being an industry with a skills shortage and offers a wide range of career pathways from a diverse set of backgrounds - such as business, technology, engineering and the environment (to name a few).
Victorian agriculture already more than pulls its weight on the economic scale, supporting more than 200,000 jobs; being Australia's biggest producer of food and fibre; and is the nation's largest exporter. But there's room for growth.
We have the opportunity to further strengthen our already strong reputation for producing and exporting the world's cleanest, greenest and safest food and fibre products - built on the highest quality biosecurity, safety and reliability standards.
To do this, we're calling on a united 'Tourism Australia-style' campaign to be created that easily allows consumers to identify Victorian or Australian food and fibre. This would use consistent branding and imagery across all commodities.
We have a real opportunity to position this to not only our traditional markets, but also to new premium markets.
There are sure to be challenges, as I've stated before, as we navigate the post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
But now is the time to position Victorian agriculture and farmers at the forefront of our economic bounce-back.