What would that mean? In one word, ‘glue’.
I argue that as nation of rugged individualists, the thing that has been missing for our farmers, our agritech, our marketers and our publics is a common sense of purpose.
Sure, there’s a sense that agriculture’s the backbone of the country’s economy and a worthy, if dull, image we take when we’re offshore.
It’s hardly riveting though.
And across a plethora of ag industry reports and plans and initiatives of the past 40 years, the constant message is that ‘we’ need a shared strategy.
The obvious point, the obvious underpinning where we share a story and method, has never been put forward as a strategic platform.
But why would this act as‘glue’.
Firstly, in a world in which knowledge is seen as having value, it would clearly indicate that there’s a heck of a lot of knowhow in how we’ve learned to convert sunshine, soil and fresh air into fantastic products.
Branding our method would also enable farming to be a lot less defensive, and provide an underpinning argument for farmers’ contribution to our country.
Not the least, it would be a separate component, alongside the electric fences, animal and plant genetics and other agritech components that we sell overseas.
That is, instead of giving away (and implying that it has no value) the knowledge component of responsible pastoralism, we’d have a means to charge for the knowhow.
And on that overseas note, we’d also have a platform on which to partner with others.
If we enable other (world) farmers to be part of our brand, and also make more money, not only could we profit, but we’d be clearly seen to be spreading and encouraging the adoption of responsible pastoralism.
All it takes is for us to name/brand what we do.
Maybe it is just too simple? Maybe we’d rather look for a complicated strategy that no one can explain in a sentence? Maybe a common sense view isn’t commonsense after all?
p.s. I envisage that individual farmers would sign in/up to an as yet-to-be-defined philosophy and statement of a sustainable responsible pastoralism. However, it probably would require no more than the current good practice, put down simply on one sheet of paper.
Peter Kerr is a writer, specialising in simplifying science and technology. He has an agricultural science and industry background. You can contact him here »
This is the tenth in a series about pasture Harmonies.
The first one Branding our pastoral advantage is here »
The second one We're the only protein production systems that can say VISIT is here »
The third one Taking it for granted is costing us is here »
The fourth one Thinking beyond the actuality of how we produce is here »
The fifth one For want of a name ... is here »
The sixth one The way you'd farm if you farmed yourself is here »
The seventh one, more than the sum of its parts is here »
The eighth one, Romance and reassurance is here »
The ninth one, We all own our agricultural story ... that's the problem is here »