The Australia National Farmers Federation Annual Conference took place over the weekend at the National Convention Centre in Canberra. Farm leaders, Government and Agribusinesses gathered to discuss this year's theme 'Australia to the World'.
Included in those attending was highly regarded agricultural expert and International Keynote speaker Julia Jones. Speaking to REX host Dominic George ahead of the event she highlighted the stark differences in the agricultural demographics of Australia and New Zealand.
"The whole thing is, when you look at Australia, it's vastly different, and the actual geography is huge," she said.
"They literally get a fire, a flood and a plague. This is kind of stuff that we couldn't even imagine."
The comparison further extended to how New Zealand is surprisingly more aligned with Canadian agricultural demographics than those in Australia. This unexpected alignment highlighted the unique environmental and historical influences shaping the farming communities of both nations.
Beyond the geographical and demographic comparisons, Jones highlighted the distinctive cultural dynamics within the Australian farming industry.
She emphasised the importance of maintaining a sense of humour and joy in farming, something that is increasingly overshadowed by political debates and the industry's inherent challenges.
"There's a great sense of humour and I think there's a real power in that," Jones commented.
"If I could take one thing and sprinkle it back over agriculture, is to have people joking and laughing again."
One topic that sparked significant discussion was the role of the government in shaping the agricultural industry. Jones argued that the government's role should not be perceived as the trailblazer or the magical innovator, but rather as the entity that tidies up the trail once it's been blazed.
"We've got to stop thinking that the answer lies with the government. They're never going to be the answer.
"They never have been the answer and they shouldn't be the answer, but that is not their role."
Jones promised to catch up again for a chat after the Conference to share what she had learned.
Listen to the full chat between International Keynote speaker Julia Jones and Dominic George above.