There is no doubt that 2018 was a difficult year for many in Queensland agriculture.
While Cyclone Owen brought much-needed rain to many, the bite of drought continues to be felt throughout much of the state.
The worst bushfires the state has seen devastated huge areas of grazing and cropping land, resulting in a needless fatality.
Frustratingly, from an industry perspective, the biggest challenge been the perverse policies and decisions made by a city-centric state government that appears to have stopped listening to rural Queenslanders.
Further changes to already confusing and counter-productive vegetation management laws, poor management of state land, and the slashing of rural education, including the shock decision to close our ag colleges, are examples of an indifferent government that has failed to set out a clear vision for supporting Queensland agriculture.
It was heartening to see the industry unite to fight these policy fails.
But there is plenty to look forward to.
Demand for our high-quality food and fibre continues to grow strongly, while technology, innovation and improved management practices are transforming the way we farm and helping us boost our productivity, profitability and sustainability.
As incoming general president, I would like to thank our membership, our communities, and our corporate partners, for their support for our advocacy.
I acknowledge the tireless efforts of all my colleagues, notably Robyn Bryant, John Baker, Dominic Burden, Christine Hayward and Alan Rae.
I would like to welcome our new faces – cattle president Will Wilson, grains president Brendan Taylor and directors from south-east and south-west Queensland Tracy Finnegan and Chris Evans.
We hope you and your families enjoy a prosperous New Year. You can be sure that AgForce will work hard to make it so.