WE HAVE been bombarded with news about the drought, with corporations, politicians and everyday citizens promoting their fundraising efforts all over the place.
But if you are fed up of hearing about it, it might be wise to think about this – asking someone if they are sick of the conversation around the drought is tantamount to asking them if they are sick of eating good food.
We are not talking about people who have made poor business decisions like setting up a surf shop in the desert or a snowmobile rental outlet in regional Queensland.
Farmers make our food and often they have been doing it for generations.
Every time a farmer goes broke, gives up or moves away, unless someone else takes their place that is one less food source we have.
And if we pause to think about it, who in their right mind would choose dairy farming as a career in the current climate unless they had a passion for the land or a family legacy to uphold?
Like much of our food, it is easy to forget where dairy products come from but it seems the tide is turning in that regard.
Food tourism is an actual thing now. People are coming to Far North Queensland to see how their food is made.
When someone tells you that the dairy farmers are doing it tough and that they are struggling to find the resources to feed and water their cows, we should all be paying attention, especially if we have become a little bit fond of locally produced fresh milk and cheese.
It is unfair to say dairy farmers should harden up and accept that they chose a profession that relies on water in a country that often goes for months without rain.
No doubt their forefathers soldiered on throughout prolonged periods of drought in true Aussie fashion, but that would have been before the advent of the super-cheap supermarket milk that has put so many dairy farms out of business.
A story in this week’s North Queensland Register shows how we can make a difference to our local dairy farmers at very little cost to ourselves by petitioning the major supermarkets and asking them to charge us 10 cents more for every litre of milk we buy.
If the extra money is passed straight on to the farmers, this is a logical way to make a real and ongoing difference – and for most of us it would cost less than a dollar a week on our grocery bills.