Tuesday 11 October, 2011

Welcome

Welcome to the NFF AGvocate, the new fortnightly e-newsletter from the National Farmers’ Federation. The name of our newsletter is inspired by the newly coined phrase – AGvocate, meaning agricultural advocate – fitting, given that the NFF exists to provide the united voice for Australian farmers and advocates for agriculture on issues of national significance.

The NFF AGvocate will bring you the latest news, current issues and policy updates from NFF House and Parliament House – right to your inbox. Current and former editions will also be available on the NFF website, so you can always stay up-to-date on the issues affecting farming, from paddock to plate.

Blueprint for Australian Ag

The NFF, Westpac and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Hon. Joe Ludwig, jointly launched the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture at Parliament House in Canberra last week. The Blueprint will provide the opportunity for farmers, agribusinesses, rural communities and the wider food and fibre supply chain to shape the future of Australia’s agricultural sector by raising the issues and challenges facing the industry, and opportunities critical to its continued success.

The Blueprint for Australian Agriculture will be developed over the coming year and all within the agricultural sector are invited to participate in the formation of this key policy document. More information on how industry and individuals can take part will be provided via the NFF AGvocate and the NFF website as details are confirmed.

Read the NFF and Westpac media release re the launch here.

Farming priorities for forums

Taxation in drought management and incentives for environmental works and regional development were among the items on the agenda for the NFF at last week’s Tax Forum in Canberra. The NFF joined 150 representatives from community, business, unions and government, along with academics and tax experts to discuss priorities and directions for further tax reform.

The NFF welcomed the proposal to review regional tax offsets through revamping Australia's Tax Zone Rebate scheme – something the NFF has long lobbied for as it could encourage people to relocate to country areas and boost employment in agriculture. Read the media release re tax zone rebates here.

Employment opportunities and labour shortages were also among the key priorities for NFF at the Future Jobs Forum last week, with figures showing the farming sector faces a shortage of 100,000 workers compared to pre-drought production levels.

Tribute to farm leader

The NFF has joined with AgForce in paying tribute to former AgForce President and NFF Board Director, Peter Kenny, who passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer. Peter dedicated 12 years of his life to delivering outcomes in the best interests of farmers, and will be remembered for his vision, committment and passion for agriculture. On behalf of the NFF and our members, we offer our sincere condolences to the Kenny family. Read the full NFF tribute to Peter Kenny here.

Coming up at NFF

> Australian Year of the Farmer
The NFF is a proud supporter of the Australian Year of the Farmer 2012. The launch of this program will take place at the Botanic Gardens in Sydney tomorrow, Wednesday 12 October, with NFF President Jock Laurie and CEO Matt Linnegar in attendance. For more information, visit the Australian Year of the Farmer website.

> International Rural Women’s Day
This Saturday 15 October marks International Rural Women’s Day. The NFF and NSW Farmers’ will be hosting an afternoon tea at Adaminaby with the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC and Mr Michael Bryce AM AE to celebrate the occasion. In addition, applications for the 2012 RIRDC Rural Women's Award close on this day. To enter, visit the RIRDC website.

The NFF AGvocate
Issue 1.

In this issue

Welcome

Blueprint for Australian Ag

Farming priorities for forums

Tribute to farm leader

Coming up at NFF

Australian Year of the Farmer

International Rural Women’s Day

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