This drought has again made me think about the importance of our farmers, the farming families and communities.
Most Australians live in city areas.
Rural Heath gives the following information:
“In 2011, there were 15.7 million people living in major cities, 6.1 million in regional (rural) Australia and about 500,000 in remote Australia.”
According to the World Bank 2013, “...with 89 percent of its population living in a handful of urban areas, Australia is one of the world's most urbanised countries.”
However, when we and others think of Australia, it is the farms and farmers that come to mind.
When I first came to Australia I was teaching in Sydney, but I, along with most young foreigners, wanted to see the real Australia, not another city. We think of the sheep, wool, local agricultural shows, cattle, grain, wide open spaces and so much more.
Why are the farmers important?
First of all, they are still economically essential to our country as far as the exports are concerned.
Farmers provide a good example by working the way we all should: finding smarter ways to do things and planning for bad times (but unfortunately some of the bad times are more severe and last longer than anyone could predict).
They are the people who can often fix things, make things, and find practical smart solutions.
Most are great conservationists, taking good care of the land and their animals.
Most exhibit strong good family values and know how to work together as a unit to get things done.
They produce excellent, healthy foods that most people in the world can only wish for.
I really feel that these farming families are so important to our country and should be encouraged, appreciated and even helped when times are bad.
Last week, Kate Walker’s article suggested refugees could benefit by spending some time in the country and I agree.
But wouldn’t it be good if all Australians could spend some time in a country town and some time in a city.
That way we would all have a better understanding of each other’s value and values.
The ABC site has some wonderful information on how to help farmers and how farmers can get help.
- ABC http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-08-01/drought-dos-and-donts-of-donations/10057862