Ag giving strength during crisis chaos | EDITORIAL

Ag giving strength during crisis chaos | EDITORIAL

Opinion
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It may not be on the frontline fighting COVID-19, but ag is playing an important part.

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Editorial

FARMERS are not on the frontline in this crisis.

It would be wrong to suggest they are.

Drought? Yep, they face it full on.

A crop pest outbreak? They'll go to war with it.

Market price gouging? They'll bear the brunt of that as well.

A global pandemic however is fought by those in full quarantine outfits and masks.

It's fought by nurses, doctors, healthcare workers and scientists.

They will be the ones that will find a solution.

Way back in the background there, generally a long way from hospitals, clinics and research institutions, going about their business and keeping people fed, are farmers.

As analysis of the coronavirus crisis washes across media channels on an hourly basis, some have observed that, of all the industries, agriculture is doing alright.

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It's holding up, staying the course, keeping moving.

And there is hope in that.

As industries face collapse, job losses mount and finances are strained, there is a calmness to be had in foundation of primary production.

People need to eat. In fact, they need to eat well and eat nutritiously, now more than ever.

Many won't even consider agriculture during the COVID-19 outbreak. They'll be focused on family, employment, health and faith.

It is here where agriculture's role in this crisis becomes crucial. The wheels of ag have to keep turning to give the nation strength, both literally and figuratively.

One has to be careful in dishing up sources of hope though.

Something that is an inspiration for one may not necessarily be so for another.

Many won't even consider agriculture during the COVID-19 outbreak. They'll be focused on family, employment, health and faith.

That's fair enough.

But, again, they'll need to eat. The energy to keep going has got to come from somewhere, and so agriculture is playing its part, perhaps on a generally unseen level.

The National Farmers' Federation has stated that Australia will not run out of food.

That's one less thing to be anxious about. Despite the panic buying, food will be available on shelves.

It's not flying any flags or writing a daily reassuring e-mail to customers but as things get even more bleak, it may be that we all need to look to ag.

As the virus continues to claim lives and disrupt livelihoods, talk of silver linings is done cautiously.

But could this be a time when the appreciation for farmers rises.

That's not just because they have continued to put food on tables but because they've set something of an example in various areas during this time, from the mentality of working remotely, to the home-education of children.

It will also be seen in the care of fellow man with many farmers, particularly horticulture producers, coming up with ways to assist their backpacker and Pacific Nations workforces to get through this time, away from families and homelands.

It's not flying any flags or writing a daily reassuring e-mail to customers but as things get even more bleak, it may be that we all need to look to ag.

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