Is it just my family or do we all seem better behaved when in the company of others?
The recent school holidays provided many moments of reflection. One example was how our teenagers, whose behaviour had ensured parts of our long car journey could be best described as painful, were able to miraculously transform.
The colourful language and short tempers disappeared at the boat ramp after two young blokes appeared and asked for a lift to an island. Their jetski had broken down. Complete strangers who we're most likely to never see again immediately changed the tone of our trip.
Currently, there is much commentary within agricultural circles on the impact of external interest groups on our Industry. Small minority fanatics are often given airtime over the fact speaking farmer. The disproportionate time given to their cause is not based on fairness.
Additionally, well funded lobbyist target the consumer and general public with strategic messaging that gets the attention of our city friends.
We rightly cannot condone some behaviour. We should however, engage with a cross-section of organisations when developing strategic frameworks. Humans are better behaved when they are being monitored. Our industry has improved its practices through natural evolution, but also in response to changing expectations.
We operate on par with international expectations of environmental stewardship and animal husbandry. We must get better at articulating these advancements and marketing the 'why' behind what we do.
Consultative committees enable a broad cross-section of stakeholders to contribute to priority areas that guide industry focus. But we also need to ensure those committee members understand that without farming families and their support teams the future is one of corporate focused visions and values.
The February 2020 Consultative Committee for the Australia Beef Sustainability Framework see drought, bushfires and climate change as interconnected issues and animal husbandry as the most important issue.
What concerns me, as a member of a farming family, is reading that the wellbeing of people in the industry (who are dealing with the coal face reality of these issues) is listed as the priority where they expect the least progress to be made.
We need stakeholder input in our Industry. It encourages us to operate at our best. We must however, ensure our core values and priorities are not compromised for the sake of inclusion activities when developing frameworks.
Otherwise whose hands are our future in?
- Brigid Price, Rural Resources