No more excusing what I do, no more apologising.  I’m a farmer and proud of it.  I turn bare paddocks into fields of golden wheat.  I grow the cotton for your socks and the wool for your winter jumpers.

I grow the barley that makes your beer, the grapes that make your wine, the sugar that sweetens your coffee.  Oh, and the coffee too!  I grow the fruits, the vegetables, the grains and the pulses; the food and the fibre that you depend on for life.

I grow the beef, pork and lamb, the chickens and the eggs.  I don’t raise healthy stock with the intention of harming or torturing them.  I don’t murder my cows; they live on my property to a ripe old age.  I have no conscience about sending them to be humanely slaughtered at the end of their lifespan.  It’s a damn sight better than the slow death caused by age and disease.

I’m happy to be a farmer.

My life is dictated by the seasons and the jobs they bring.  In May I may be planting, in October I may be harvesting.  If it rains I will be working the ground or spraying out weeds.

Life for a farmer is unpredictable but there is pride in producing healthy stock and satisfaction in bumper crops. When planting and rainfall coincide, when a new line of bulls produce strong vigorous calves or newly developed seeds produce lush growth, it makes a farmer happy.   No one else knows the pure joy that comes from a good timely fall of rain.

I am unapologetically a farmer.

There was a time when men hunted and women gathered and they lived off the land.  Some would like to go back to that era, but in the meantime, remember you depend on a farmer to feed you.

I utilize the soil to grow food and water from the catchments to keep it growing.  I am not exploiting the environment; I am making the most of what it has to offer.  That a landscape unsuitable for cropping can be used to raise beef is something to celebrate.  Grass that feeds cattle in turn feeds a nation.

If you do not accept that clearing land for crops and using water for irrigation is necessary then you do not understand the fundamentals of life.

I am lucky to be a farmer.

Australia is very much a lucky country.  We have knowledgeable people on the land who have been learning the skills of producing food for generations.  Each generation has passed on the very best they have to offer.  Some learnt their trade at their grandfather’s knee and modern technology is adding to those skills with each passing year.

Australian farmers use best practice, are lauded overseas as innovative and progressive, we are leaders in our field.

I am a sustainable farmer.

We are improving our farming methods continually.  Innovation has led to better use of water to grow more vigorous crops, development of seeds that are more resistant to disease, improved welfare regulations for healthier stock.  As a modern farmer I am embracing new technology because a better outcome for stock has always been my ultimate goal.

Instead of resenting every drop of water, every acre of cleared land, every cow that is milked and every pig that is raised, be thankful that here in Australia farmers are delivering the safest, the freshest and most sustainable food to you with less food miles than you can get anywhere else in the world.

Never complain about a farmer with your mouth full.