Farming Smarter, Not Harder | Quotes in support

Farming Smarter, Not Harder has received endorsement and support from a wide range of people and organisations

The launch of Farming Smarter Not Harder was co-hosted by Labor MP Janelle Saffin, Liberal Senator for NSW Bill Heffernan and Greens Senator for WA Rachel Siewert on November 1st at Parliament House, Canberra.

Below is a selection of quotes welcoming the report.

Major General Michael Jeffery, Australian Advocate for Soils and former Governor General

“I commend the Centre for Policy Development’s Report ‘Farming Smarter not Harder’ for its thorough and very readable analysis of the challenges and opportunities for Australian agriculture. Its strong focus on soil health and the importance of the stewardship of the land role undertaken by farmers, highlight the fundamentals for future national success.”

Sid Sidebottom, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

“In my travels, both nationally and internationally, I’ve met with great appreciation of the cleverness of Australian farmers – producing great quality products in difficult circumstances. But I’ve always wondered whether we can be smart as well as clever. The ‘Farming Smarter, Not Harder’ report is full of good ideas on how to be not just clever but smart – making the most of the food boom over the long term by innovating and investing in the natural assets that underpin it. And why wouldn’t we, it’s the smart thing to do?” (Read Sid Sidebottom’s media release on the report)

Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Senator for WA

“This is an important piece of research, which I encourage all MPs to read and engage with… While our agricultural communities are outstanding innovators who have achieved high productivity and efficiency, the CPD highlights the fact that they have been achieving this despite declining and uncertain levels of government investment and support, and without sufficient support to ensure soil health and landscape resilience.” (Read Rachel Siewart’s media release on the report)

Senator the Hon Bill Heffernan, Liberal Senator for NSW

“I congratulate Laura Eadie and Christopher Stone for their report, “Farming Smarter, Not Harder”.  According to the science and given the future of the global food task will double by 2050, what is in the fridge will be far more important than what is in the garage.  This report provides an important source and extensive insight into the importance of agriculture in Australia’s national interest, in particular, to our food and water security.”

Joy Beames, State Agricultural & Environmental Officer, Country Women’s Association of NSW

“I see the report “Farming Smarter, Not Harder” to be of great benefit to the agriculture sector in Australia. Increased investment in research and development as well as providing long-term funding for regional Natural Resource Management bodies is essential for the forward movement towards sustainable food production. The recognition of communities as an important support tool for farmers is also pleasing to see included in the report.”

David Chamberlin, CEO, Birchip Cropping Group Inc.

“I am pleased to support the call for increased investment in agricultural and natural resource management research, development and extension programs to improve our productivity, profitability and sustainability well into the future. It is also pleasing to see the recognition of the valuable place which rural communities play in supporting our farmers while they increase productivity and the need for social services and support to be improved to these communities. To achieve substantially increased food production – from economically and environmentally sustainable farms, unfettered by additional regulations and supported by vibrant rural communities – would be the ultimate goal.”

Bernard Brain, 2012 Diversification Farmer of the Year (pictured above, with Mrs Brain)

“I see great potential for expansion of food production in Tasmania. The problem, however, is achieving realistic and sustainable returns for effort; with the relentless push for cost cutting and price reduction to the producer and processor, with inevitable unsustainability of production and cost to the environment. I hope this report will make a strong contribution to necessary and urgent policy debates on state and national levels.”

Angus Taylor, Director, Port Jackson Partners, author of ‘Greener Pastures

“Farming Smarter, Not Harder provides an important contribution to discussions about the future of Australian agriculture. This debate should be about how to increase our production with more efficient and effective use of inputs. Healthy soils are an essential asset, and key to Australia’s position as a winner in the global food boom.”

Mike Hirst, Managing Director, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

“The Australian agricultural industry has always been a major contributor to the wealth of our economy and in making rural communities sustainable. The debate on how the industry can best take advantage of the growing demand for its product is important for all Australians and adds to the leadership already being shown by many farmers. ‘Farming Smarter, Not Harder’ is a welcome contribution to that debate, particularly in its call for more research and funding to assist that. In any debate there are many views that need to be heard to ensure a well reasoned and fair strategy can be mapped out for the benefit of all stakeholders. This report is identifying areas worthy of serious analysis.”

Robert Oakeshott MP, Federal Member for Lyne

“Farmers should now be recognised as more than food and fibre producers. They should be acknowledged as the frontline caretakers of our natural resources and our landscape. In doing this, the government needs more policies that reward behaviour in natural resource management as well as food and fibre production. If Australia is to make the most of the challenges ahead, the 30-year decline in soil science and government agricultural services must end. We need greater investment and incentives in healthy soil and smart paddock innovation. The ‘Farming Smarter Not Harder’ report provides strong evidence of the benefits if Australia can get this right”

John Hewson, Executive Chairman, Shartru Capital

“The world is searching for the “low hanging fruit” as an early and easy response to the challenge of climate change. One of the best, and most cost effective, is improvement in soil quality, improvement in the carbon content of our soils. Simple changes in farming practices, and a move away from chemical fertilisers, can reap very significant benefits, not only for the farms, but also in terms of reductions in our national emissions.”

Sue Ogilvy, Stipa Native Grasses Association

“It is a very thorough and comprehensive assessment of agriculture, its current situation and the opportunities ahead of it and so beautifully written that it was a pleasure to read as well.”

Also see the National Farmers Federation response to the Farming Smarter, Not Harder report, and coverage by the Kondinin Group, and media releases were issued by the offices of Sen Rachel Siewert, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Farms and Fisheries.