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Farmers are awesome, but does it matter?

The ‘Australian Year of the Farmer’ (AYOF) was a campaign conducted during 2012 which aimed to celebrate and promote the work of Australian farmers, and to showcase the critical role that agriculture plays in the Australian economy. It was initiated by a small group of individuals concerned about the apparent lack of awareness and appreciation of agriculture by urban residents. AYOF was able to attract high profile ambassadors (including the Governor General), and through fundraising, which included securing significant government and corporate support, was able to mount a roadshow that travelled to nearly 300 different events held across the entire continent. (more)

The Australian Farm Institute conference calendar for 2013 features: Australian Agricultural Innovation Systems at the Crossroads in Canberra, 29 & 30 May; and the tenth Australian Agricultural Roundtable Conference in Sydney, 6 & 7 November. (more)

A new AFI and GRDC survey explores whether traditional extension methods are still preferred. The project is investigating the role that extension plays in the grains industry, currently and in the future, and how this affects optimal grain production. (more)

David Pannell and Sally Marsh discuss with Mike Stephens what public-sector agricultural extension should look like in 10 years. (more)

Readers are invited to continue the discussion on the Institute’s blog. 

News coverage, on the Network Ten program ‘The Project’, focusing on projected climatic conditions overstates concerns about the future of Australian food supply as 'problematic'. (more)

In this edition, Farm Policy News examines the the link between food, fertiliser and fish; and finds that biofuels are still gobbling food, US Farm Bill negotiations have been extended, and global food prices have remained high. (more)

The Institute's popular Ag Forum blog post ‘Whole Food Markets shows how to add value to agriculture, not drag it down, down’, elicits response from Robert Hadler, Coles' General Manager of Corporate Affairs. (more)

Images:  AWB, CSIRO, Deniliquin Newspapers, C Downie, GrainCorp Limited, Geoff Penaluna, Gaétane Potard, Alex E Proimos,  David J Thomas, USDA

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