A visit to the Berrigan property of Ted Hatty was included in a tour of the region recently by Federal Agriculture and Water Resources Assistant Minister Anne Ruston.
She also met with representatives of local agricultural groups, including Southern Riverina Irrigators chairman Graeme Pyle and Speak Up campaign instigator Shelley Scoullar.
Senator Ruston praised Speak Up and said its ethos should be ‘‘rolled out across Australia’’.
She said its efforts to educate the whole country on agriculture and its importance was identical to the one she encouraged producers across the country to embrace.
‘‘When I found out members of Speak Up would be at the networking dinner (held in Deniliquin) I was excited to talk with them more,’’ Senator Ruston said.
‘‘The thing I keep saying to farmers when I travel the country, and the thing that keeps coming up, is that we are amazing managers of our own resources.
‘‘We don’t sell the message enough of what is great about farmers, fishers and foresters, and it’s important our farmers start sharing the good news stories.
‘‘Many people in metropolitan areas have no real understanding of what it takes to be a farmer.
‘‘They don’t realise that without the farmer they would not have the luxuries of life they enjoy — like their cow-hide handbags — or food in front of them.
‘‘Speak Up is trying to counteract all the misinformation out there, and I am thrilled to encourage that to go further; it is a national issue.’’
Senator Ruston also personally congratulated Speak Up instigator Shelley Scoullar on the campaign’s initiatives.
The Agricultural Industry Advisory Council visit was co-ordinated and hosted by Deniliquin-based member Perin Davey.
Council members and NSW MP Luke Hartsuyker started the full-day tour schedule looking at irrigation systems in the Berrigan region, which included a tour of Ted Hatty’s rice farm.
They travelled to Deniliquin and inspected the Lawson Syphons before touring the Deniliquin Rice Mill.