Grain Producers Australia would like to recognise and celebrate the amazing contribution Australian grain producers make to growing the size and value of our agricultural industry.
GPA Chair, Barry Large, said National Ag Day, provided an important opportunity to show appreciation and reflect on the hard work and fantastic job Australian grain producers do, each and every day – supported by a strong industry.
Mr Large grows hay, cereals, lupins and oilseeds with wife Tiina, at ‘Moorara’ near Miling in Western Australia’s Northern Wheatbelt.
He said GPA was proud to support Australia’s amazing, resilient grain producers, to help boost the profitability and sustainability of the nation’s grains industry.
“Not just on Ag Day but every day, Australian grain producers are growing high quality grain crops which help produce many, many great products enjoyed by consumers in Australia and throughout the world,” he said.
“Our growers also contribute to the economic strength of their communities and the national economy, with a return valued at more than $31 billion in 2022-23, following record crop production of about 71 million tonnes.
“This exceeded the previous year’s record crop and shows the Australian grains industry is making a vital contribution to growing Australian agriculture, with growers central to these great results and helping to feed and fuel the world.”
GPA Southern Director, Mark Schilling, said Australian agriculture sector was an economic powerhouse, employing about 350,000 people and contributing 12 per cent to Australia’s GDP.
Mr Schilling is a fifth-generation farmer who grows wheat, barley, oats and lentils with his wife Merridee and sons Aidan and Rohan, at Cunliffe on South Australia’s Northern Yorke Peninsula.
He urged people to recognise and acknowledge both the efficiency and sustainability of Australian agriculture, on National Ag Day.
“We’re the people who just get on with it every day, growing something out of nothing,” he said.
“Whether it’s lamb, beef, a peach, potato or wheat, all we need is water. Today’s a great opportunity to recognise and reflect on what farms do, as one of the backbones of this country.”
Pic: GPA Western Director, Duncan Young.
GPA Northern Director Matthew Madden, along with his wife Catherine and son Alexander, produces a range of dryland grain crops including wheat, barley, chickpeas and sorghum, at their property ‘Fairfield’, located east of Moree, in North-Western NSW.
Mr Madden said while most people understood the importance of agriculture, National Ag Day provided a chance to highlight the industry’s vital role and the fantastic work of growers.
“National Ag Day is a great way to remind people that we’re out there working on our farms each and every day to help feed and clothe not just Australians, but the rest of the world,” he said.
“It’s a good time to stop and think about where your food comes from and appreciate the hard work and some of the different challenges that goes into producing it safely and sustainably.”
Pic: GPA Northern Director Matthew Madden.
GPA Western Director, Duncan Young, farms with his wife Tarni at Beverley and York in Western Australia’s wheatbelt, where they grow cereal and pulse crops, including wheat, barley, canola, field peas, lupins and faba beans.
A fourth-generation farmer, Mr Young said he’d be spending National Ag Day getting on with the job of harvesting this year’s crop. In particular, he’ll be loading road trains filled with freshly harvested grain, to be trucked to the Kwinana bulk terminal, for exporting to markets throughout the world.
Mr Young said National Ag Day was an opportunity to recognise the entire supply chain’s contribution to growing agriculture – from the farmer who grows the wheat, to the shipping companies that export grain overseas or local grain transporters and handlers, through to the millers, brewers and manufacturers that ultimately produce the foods and products we all consume.
“Australian farmers are among the best in the world, but we don’t do it alone,” he said.
“To produce high quality food and fibre, we rely on the whole supply chain. Without this support we couldn’t reach our true potential and have the amazing industry that we have today, which contributes a massive amount to the national economy and our local communities.”
GPA Southern Director, Andrew Weidemann, said many others contributed to the Australian grains industry’s successful growth story – not least of all those who provided other vital support products and services in areas such as biosecurity, agronomy, science, machinery and technology.
“As growers we can’t do this all on our own and need a strong team around us providing support when and where it’s needed,” he said.
“National Ag Day is also a fantastic opportunity to say thanks to those people and recognise everyone who contributes to the grains industry’s strong performance and growth, in one way or another.
“Governments and other agencies also play critical roles to enable Australian agriculture, helping to safeguard our industry in different ways, or to facilitate vital trade and market access.”
National Ag Day is the annual shout out to farmers held on the third Friday of November, started by the National Farmers Federation in 2017. This year’s theme is ‘Grow you good thing!’.