Shocking new statistics have revealed that young Australians aged 18-29 are the most likely to say they don’t care at all how their food and fibre is grown. The 2018 National Agriculture Day Poll conducted by TEG Insights has found that almost a quarter (23%) of people in this age range say they don’t care at all how their food and fibre is grown. This figure is 8% higher than for Australians aged 30 – 49.
The AgDay Poll is commissioned annually by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) to gauge the community’s connection to the farm sector. NFF CEO Tony Mahar says the apathy displayed by 18 to 29 year olds is cause for concern. “This is meant to be a demographic with a deep social conscience, yet almost one in four couldn’t care less how the food they put in their mouths is grown,” Mr Mahar said. While some might say this is a credit to the quality, safety and abundance of food and fibre we produce in Australia, it’s troubling that as a country we’re growing increasingly disconnected from life’s essentials.
The AgDay Poll also found that more than half (52%) of 18 – 29 year olds felt disconnected with farming and uninformed about the industry. This is unsurprising perhaps, given 65% had not had any contact with a single farmer in the past 12 months. “We have to do a better job at getting in front of the community, and having an open and honest conversation about what we do. Otherwise we risk seeing generations of Australians with no understanding of where their food and fibre comes from.”
The Poll findings coincide with National Agriculture Day which has recently finished on the 21 November – an awareness campaign led by the NFF to highlight the farm sector’s contribution. “This year, we’re celebrating AgDay under the theme ‘Grow for Good’. It’s all about highlighting the progress our industry is making each year by farming smarter and more sustainable. “There is a great story to tell about Australian agriculture. Whether it’s strengthening communities by providing jobs; growing more food and fibre to meet surging demand; or taking better care of our planet – each year we’re improving what we do, and making the world a better place to live.”
“We all have a role to play in helping celebrate agriculture and informing the community about what we do.” People across the nation gathered for sausage sizzles, morning teas and luncheons for Australia’s biggest celebration of Aussie agriculture. This year we celebrated the good that our farmers do each year through the 2018 theme #GrowForGood and this came across with our highest ever public engagement with #AgDayAU. More than 130 AgDay events were registered around the country with more than 7,500 people attending an AgDay event. This is not counting all of the events that weren’t registered! Some of the biggest organisations in agriculture had a strong showing around the country. Meat & Livestock Australia hosted a breakfast event as part of Red Meat 2018 in Canberra, Syngenta hosted an influencer’s luncheon in Sydney, AgForce Queensland hosted their event at the City Farmers Markets in Brisbane and KPMG hosted a morning teas in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Thank you to everyone who helped celebrate by hosting or attending an event, wearing green and posting on social media. Thank you for taking a moment to appreciate all the good Aussie farmers do to provide us with some of the best food and fibre in the world. In only its second year, AgDay is proving a great platform to engage Australia in a discussion about Agriculture. We’re looking forward to continuing to grow the day on 21 November 2019!