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Earlier this month we ran a poll on X (formerly Twitter) asking grain growers to share how long it’s been since the last time they had a real holiday away from the farm.

Thanks to those who shared the poll across their networks and the 354 who voted.

The results are in and it was pleasing to see that 60.2% had made the effort to take a break in the past two years.

More worrying was the fact that it had been 3-5 years for 15.5% and 6-10 years for another 5.6%.

And then there was the 18.6% who ticked the box “What’s a holiday?”. Some of those would have been joking, but sadly too many would have been serious.

GPA Chief Executive Colin Bettles said he was concerned by some of the numbers.

“It’s time we all took a break and don’t forget, regular shorter breaks are as just important as the longer ones,” he said.

Bradley Millstead, who farms at Watheroo in Western Australia and promotes mental health through the #6Bs (blokes, beer, bonfire, BBQ, bulls**t and bonding) network, commented that it was refreshing to hear from many west coast growers that “even after many have had a real tough season, they’re looking forward to having their first long break in a few years given the early finish”.

“We take the time to recharge our devices, why not ourselves?,” he asked.

Trevor Cliff, of Kimba in South Australia, said he had made taking a regular holiday a habit for his whole farming career.

“You farm to give you the life you want,” he said.

As part of our ongoing mental health initiative and to demonstrate the importance of taking a break away from the farm, GPA is running a competition offering Australian grain growers the chance to win a share of $5000 in prizes.

GPA chair Barry Large said he hoped the competition and prizes on offer would inspire growers to think about where to go and provide some extra motivation to take a break.

“We want this competition to encourage everyone to start thinking and planning for their next break away from the farm, be it a short getaway or a longer one, and what they’d love to do,” he said.

Find out more about the competition and enter before the January 28 cutoff HERE.



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