Aussie farmers celebrated at AgDay exhibits

Rural Aid chief executive officer John Warlters; Queensland Farmers’ Federation chief executive officer Jo Sheppard; John Deere Australia and New Zealand managing director Luke Chandler and Growth and Innovation general manager at RDO Australia Guy Hoffensetz celebrate National AgDay in Brisbane.

Brisbane and Melbourne residents recognised the importance of Australian farmers and shared messages of appreciation at John Deere’s 2023 National Agriculture Day celebrations.

Reddacliff Place in Brisbane CBD and Queensbridge Square in Melbourne’s Southbank Promenade were transformed into agricultural-themed exhibits, including John Deere farming equipment, digital displays, face painting, games and giveaways.

Attendees enjoyed a free coffee as they took the opportunity to learn more about Australia’s agriculture industry and add a personal message of thanks to a dedicated ‘Thank-a-farmer’ wall.

John Deere Australia and New Zealand managing director Luke Chandler said the celebrations shone the spotlight on the hard working and innovative Australian farmers who produced world-leading food and fibre.

“Holding these events allowed us to show our appreciation for farmers and share information with the community about where our food and fibre comes from, and just how much hard work goes into producing it,” Mr Chandler said.

“We were really impressed with the turnout in Brisbane and Melbourne with plenty of people wanting to learn more about Australia’s $80 billion agriculture industry.

“Importantly, the Thank-a-farmer-walls were full of heart-warming messages which we will be sharing with the National Farmers’ Federation in the coming weeks for further distribution to Australian farmers.”

NFF president David Jochinke attended John Deere’s Melbourne event and said it was heartening to see the support from city residents.

“This is Australian agriculture’s biggest day of the year, when the nation comes together to celebrate the incredible food and fibre our farmers grow,” he said.

“The best thing about the day is it connects people from all walks of life, locations and ages.

“AgDay is a chance for farmers and people in agriculture to showcase what our industry is doing, and for the wider public to learn more and make valuable connections to the ‘ag team’ who is behind food they eat and the clothes they wear.”

AusVeg national marketing manager Nathan McIntyre; National Farmers’ Federation president David Jochinke and John Deere Australia and New Zealand Ag and turf sales and marketing director Steve Wright enjoy National AgDay celebrations in Melbourne. Photo by Melissa Hobbs

The latest National Farmer Wellbeing Report, commissioned by Norco in partnership with the NFF, found many farmers are struggling with their mental wellbeing and feel the role they play is undervalued by the wider public.

Attendees at John Deere’s AgDay exhibits had the chance to learn more about the crucial services being delivered by Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, including financial assistance, fodder and free counselling.

Rural Aid chief executive officer John Warlters, who attended the Brisbane exhibit, said looming drought conditions, and the declaration of an El Niño weather event, meant many farmers were already under immense pressure.

“Initiatives like AgDay really help increase awareness of the amazing work that farmers do, but also some of the challenges they face every day,” he said.

“It was wonderful to see all the messages of support on the Thank-a-farmer wall, and we were very grateful for the donations we received to help continue delivering crucial assistance to farmers in need.”

National Agriculture Day is an initiative of the NFF held on the third Friday of November each year to celebrate Australia’s farm sector.