We’ve all been there: trapped by a bore who talks incessantly about him or herself without drawing breath. It starts off confusing, grows to be annoying until, finally, the desperation to get away and have a real conversation becomes overwhelming.
I think we farmers may be guilty of this social sin. Too often, we are presented as whingers who fail to appreciate that urban Aussies with equally as noble callings (from educating our children through to curing our cancers) can also do it tough.
In our defense, the media generally isn’t so interested in good news stories and the only time we have traditionally appeared on the 12-inch (no, make that 60-inch) screen is during a drought, flood, fire or pest-induced famine. Times when a cheery countenance would be both unlikely and ridiculous!
The face of farming throughout all the challenges was presented in a glorious Dodge Super Bowl ad the other day. In response to my post about it, farmer John Alexander, described it as, “…one of the best Ag ads out there (possibly ever), and I wish we could replicate it in Australia as soon as possible.”.
He’s not concerned that it might alienate city dwellers and neither are people like former career politician, @HenryPalaszczuk, who says, “Aussies have a quiet respect for our people on the land. This ad wold send a shiver down their backs.”.
I know that’s true of many Australians. But I want more. I want to see Australian farmers talk with non-farmers rather than at them and I hope we will learn to do it in a way that resonates for all.
The Dutch have had a go at exactly that. This ad for milk is not perfect (who wants farmers cast as peasants?) but it extends the hand of friendship to our city cousins in a way that “God made a farmer” cannot.
Love of animals, love of land, courage, humility, honesty, purity. These, the essence of Australian farming are values cherished by Australians everywhere. Isn’t it time we celebrated what unites us?