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Current and future farmers to focus on policy

27 February 2013

Australia’s peak national agricultural representative body, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has today joined forces with Australia’s only national agricultural youth network, the Future Farmers Network (FFN).

The partnership, announced by NFF President Jock Laurie and FFN Chair Georgie Aley at today’s FFN Youth Agriculture Central in Canberra, will provide opportunities for young farmers to learn about policy development and advocacy on the national stage.

“The key role of the NFF is to provide the united voice for farmers and the wider agricultural sector on the important issues facing the sector now and in the future – and to help the Government make sensible policy decisions for the long-term,” NFF President Jock Laurie said.

“Critically, many of the decisions made today not only impact on the current crop of farmers, but also our future farmers – the next generation who will not only be running our nation’s farms, but also our agricultural representative bodies, in the years to come.

“Ensuring we have a strong, successful industry in the future is really in the hands of our future farmers, so it is essential that we involve them today.

“And, just as we have much to teach future farmers about the way that policy development and advocacy works on the national stage – and the importance of farmers having a strong voice in Canberra - we also have much to learn from them about what they see as the critical issues and opportunities for farmers in the future, particularly as we head into phase two of the Blueprint for Australian Agriculture,” Mr Laurie said.

Ms Aley says that while FFN is not an advocacy body, it is important that young farmers have the opportunity to understand, and contribute to, the policy making process.

“FFN aims to prepare young people in rural industries for the challenges and opportunities ahead. We’re all about giving young people the chance to develop their personal and professional skills, and this partnership with NFF gives us greater reach into the world of policy and advocacy,” Ms Aley said.

“FFN already brings together many of the state-based young farmer organisations, including the youth representatives within many NFF members – AgForce QLD, Cattle Council of Australia, NSW Farmers, Victorian Farmers Federation and WAFarmers. Today’s announcement is about strengthening the relationships between these groups,” Ms Aley said.

The partnership commences at FFN’s Youth Agricultural Central event, taking place in Canberra today and tomorrow. As part of the agenda, delegates will have the opportunity to discuss the NFF’s recently-released Blueprint for Australian Agriculture.

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