Disconnected from ag

By Country News

A new survey has revealed that almost one in five Australians have no interest in how their food and fibre is grown, while almost half of those surveyed said they did not feel connected with the industry.

The 2018 National Agriculture Day Poll commissioned by the National Farmers’ Federation and conducted by TEG Insights comes as the country celebrated National Agriculture Day last Wednesday.

The survey, which questioned 224 people this year, is done annually to gauge the community’s connection to the farm sector.

NFF chief executive officer Tony Mahar said the apathy displayed by those aged 18 to 29 was cause for concern.

‘‘This is meant to be a demographic with a deep social conscience, yet almost one in four couldn’t care less how the food they put in their mouths is grown,’’ Mr Mahar said.

‘‘While some might say this is a credit to the quality, safety and abundance of food and fibre we produce in Australia, it’s troubling that as a country we’re growing increasingly disconnected from life’s essentials.

‘‘We have to do a better job at getting in front of the community, and having an open and honest conversation about what we do. Otherwise we risk seeing generations of Australians with no understanding of where their food and fibre comes from.’’

The poll’s findings come after the country celebrated National Agriculture Day last Wednesday, a NFF-led awareness campaign to highlight the farm sector’s contribution.

‘‘There is a great story to tell about Australian agriculture. Whether it’s strengthening communities by providing jobs, growing more food and fibre to meet surging demand, or taking better care of our planet — each year we’re improving what we do, and making the world a better place to live,’’ Mr Mahar said.

‘‘We all have a role to play in helping celebrate agriculture and informing the community about what we do.’’