Farming ahead of the curve aims to provide Australian farmers with the skills sets and knowledge required to create and generate greater value for the food and fibre they produce. We will deliver programs to build Australian farmers’ capacity to engage with all stakeholders along the supply chain to increase awareness, loyalty and pride and consumer preference for Australian produce par excellence.
To farm ahead of the curve a shift from traditional boundaries into the world of supply chain relationships, value adding and marketing is required. More than 86 per cent of Australians now live in cities or within 80 kilometres of the coast. Links to rural communities have been lost and knowledge about the production of our food and fibre is declining.
Farmers, on the other hand, are gradually losing touch with their urban communities as modern supply chains isolate them from the people who consume their produce.
Further, we must initiate two-way conversations between farmers and consumers to create a better understanding of consumer preferences and any collaboration required by the farming sector to meet or exceed consumer expectations.
Australia has relatively immature food value chains compared to our global competitors and the disconnect between urban consumers and farmers is currently affecting profitability in the food sector. To turn this around, farmers need to build the capacity to position themselves to be ahead of the curve.
This will lead to sustainable value chains, where all participants along the chain are in tune with and responsive to the needs of consumers and what it costs to produce safe, affordable, nutritious and ethically produced food.
How do we deliver the change that agriculture must have? For farmers this will mean working beyond traditional boundaries and challenging the conventional thinking of primary industries and individuals. It will require a paradigm shift in thinking and a collaborative re-allocation of resources and responsibilities amongst all stakeholders in the value chain.
It will require deploying agriculture’s young people into schools to build relationships with the next generation of consumers. It will need innovative and fun ways of engaging the next generation of consumers in considering the issues affecting sustainable food and fibre production.
Farming Ahead of the Curve has developed a suite of programs, training and networking opportunities which will change the way farmers and consumers interact, increasing value across all sectors.
These programs provide a supportive environment, professional development, access to inspiring leadership, first class mentoring and training.
The legacy of these program allow farmers of all ages to participate in, and extract greater value from the fibre to fabric and paddock to plate supply chain.
Lynne Strong is an agribusiness and social entrepreneur with a strong record of matching business success with environmental achievements and social change.
Whist at the helm of her family business Clover Hill Dairies Lynne positioned her family business as an internationally recognised innovator in climate change adaptation, environmental stewardship and on farm research, development and extension and industry change management strategies. The farm is now run by her son.
Lynne has won agriculture's most prestigious awards including the inaugural Bob Hawke Medal, the 2013 Green Agriculture Innovation Award, the 2012 NSW Rural and Regional Development Award and the 2010 National Landcare Woolworths Primary Producer of the Year.
Lynne is best known as the founder of and national program director for Art4Agriculture. Art4Agriculture is a network of young people who engage with, and empower young people to tell agriculture’s story. To do this Art4Agriculture designs and delivers high quality, innovative art and multimedia based curriculum programs to Australian school children promoting understanding of, and pride in, Australian agriculture.
Ultimately Art4Agriculture focus beyond the farmgate is on reconnecting consumers with farming communities. In particular the Art4Agriculture team are keenly aware of the need to effectively communicate that Australian farmers are professional and caring and committed to working towards sustainable farming production systems. Lynne sees Farming Ahead of the Curve as a natural extension of her efforts which work to position farmers in the supply chain in order to maximise value for their farm business.
Lynne has a vision for agriculture that is full of promise. She wants a dynamic, innovative, exciting and profitable agrifood sector regionally and Australia wide.
Lynne believes agriculture needs a new way of thinking about and engaging with their customers and the supply chain.
For farmers this will mean working beyond traditional boundaries and challenging the conventional thinking about primary industries and individuals.
For consumers it will mean considering agricultural farming systems and their constraints as well as reflecting on new definitions of “value” when thinking about Australian grown products.
Victoria is an experienced industry association executive who established Flourish Communication to provide specialist services to clients involved in primary industries, science and natural resource management.
Victoria assists both government and industry clients identify their audiences, design strategies for engagement and communicate effectively.
With a background in agricultural representation and politics, Victoria uses a mix of strategic planning, policy development, stakeholder management and communications to design and deliver projects with high impact outcomes.
Recent clients include University of Canberra, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Primary Industries Education Foundation, the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia, the National Bulk Commodities Group and the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.
All external factors aside (prices, weather etc) we need to motivate urban people to join us working in agriculture. To capitalise on the looming “food boom” we need a large, skilled and flexible workforce, who understand agriculture is bigger than just farming.
For the past twenty-five years Ann has worked in the performance, media and communications industries. She is a graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and has worked extensively in Television, Theatre and Film. She has also worked as a teacher, trainer, writer, director, counselor and youth worker. Her passion is helping people to become the best possible version of themselves they can be so they can tell their stories, share their passions and be heard.
If people can’t hear you then they wont understand your stories. One of the many challenges facing agriculture today is the lack of comprehension urban communities have of the complexities of how our food is produced. The disconnect most people have with their food means that we have begun to value price over quality. I want to see agriculture telling its stories so people in the city have the information they need to make the best decisions they can about their food.
Kirsty has more than 15 years experience in delivering events with passion and precision. She has a particular passion for the NFP and educational sector which started with the successful delivery of an iconic Australian event, Clean Up Australia Day. Since 2003 Kirsty has been working with the Australian agricultural sector to deliver its most outstanding events and programs with her own company, Event Directors. Event Directors national clients include household names such as National Farmers’ Federation and Department of Primary Industries.
Inspiring ‘Gen Y’ to pursue a career in agriculture. All the production technology in the world to feed and clothe a global population of 9 billion by 2050 will mean nothing without the next generation of agri-professionals behind it. We need to shout this question from the rooftops, “what could be a more rewarding job than knowing you are feeding or clothing your family, your community and your country?”
Gaye Steel is an experienced marketing executive proven in creating strong enterprise value in dynamic Retail, Franchise, Telecommunications, and FMCG multi-national environments.
With a solid track record in achieving outstanding results held a number of key senior management positions with organisations including McDonald’s Australia Ltd, Telstra, Reckitt Benckiser, National Foods and Church & Dwight Pty Ltd. Moving from client to agency side for 3 years as Marketing Director at phdcreative (now trading as GuihenJones). Most recently taking up the role as Head of Marketing and Sales for Macleay College.
She is an accomplished Academic Lecturer in Marketing and Advertising, having done so for the past 11 years.
Getting closer to the consumer…
Helping consumers to re-imagine a bright sustainable future of agriculture in Australia.