THERE is an old adage that says, "don't bite the hand that feeds you". In today's Australia, belting the very people that provide the food that keeps the masses from starvation, seems to have become a national sport. I am not sure if people and the government have joined the dots, but if you don't have farmers, then there will be no one left growing the food. It is an alarming statistic that shows there are fewer then 87,000 registered primary producers in this land, which equates to only one farmer for every 277 people.
Prior to the agricultural revolution, most people were subsistence farmers, or hunters and gatherers, having to supply their own needs as the inventions necessary for broad-scale farming were not a reality. There was often widespread famine when crops failed on a local level, with people only having very small areas to grow food for their families, and perhaps being able to trade some of the surplus. Most people were actively involved in their own food production, as a surety against starvation. Fast forward to the 21st Century and the reverse is true.
Most people do not even give a passing thought about agriculture, or their food growers, even though they rely upon them grow the bread of life, along with the multitude of everyday products, that are derived from agriculture. They are the nameless, faceless ones, who only exist on the fringe of society, mostly portrayed as being villains by the farm hating groups such as Animals Australia, World Wildlife Fund and PETA and incredibly, by our own governments.
Farmers are represented by these anti farmer groups and in the media as being the destroyers of trees, cruel to animals, full of greed and avarice, intent upon making money out of the suffering of animals and the destruction of the environment. Australian agriculture is under attack from every angle.
They wish to eliminate the family farmer and grazier and their animals from the landscape. You would think the way they all hate farmers, that they don't need agriculture in Australia.
More need to realise that because of our farming families are so expert at their jobs, that this allows most of the population to do other occupations, such as being activists in the farm hating groups, vegans, greenies, politicians, media, school students, doctors, lawyers, dole recipients or even being in jail. While there are farmers, there is very little starvation. While 0.5% of the population are growing the food the 99.5% of population doesn't have to. Agriculture is a very expensive business to be in. It takes generational knowledge to be a farmer or grazier. It cannot be learnt out of a text book or at a university.
These skills are passed down the family line and in many cases, the farming and grazing land, but this is becoming increasingly rare, as many cannot afford to retire and give their children the farm. Agriculture is also viewed as by many farming and grazing families as not being worth the angst, and many sell out, encouraging their children to get more secure and less stressful occupations. If the people of agriculture are hated and hounded out of business, then who will be left growing the food and fibre on the farms of tomorrow?
If farmers and graziers can't afford to feed their families, then they cannot afford to feed yours.
No farmers, no food.