OUR SAY | How we can all help our farmers when the drought finally breaks

HAVE YOU HERD: It's worth remembering the ways we can help farmers, in good times and bad. Photo: DAILY LIBERAL
HAVE YOU HERD: It's worth remembering the ways we can help farmers, in good times and bad. Photo: DAILY LIBERAL

“THEY’RE doing it so tough out there” has become the stultifying catch-cry of coverage of this drought.

“We’re doing it for the farmers,” we say, doing whatever they can other than divine water from the sky.

“We’re helping.”

The drought is nothing new, and the toughness and resourcefulness it breeds is not uncommon. However, as water is inexorably sucked from the earth, it seems memory, too, has evaporated.

Everyone is quite limber and able to give themselves a pat on the back after they’ve raised a few dollars for a fabled farmer. The pangs of generosity tend to bite hard when times are tough.

And while the fundraising efforts in recent months have been fantastic, it’s maybe worth asking the question: where was this concern for our farmers when they were arguing for fairer prices for their produce?

How do we help stem that decline? Find out where your food comes from, buy local where you can, and demand better from the supermarkets.

If you can support a farmer now because virtue is in vogue, you can do it when rivers are flowing and grass is abundant and green.

Agriculture here and across the nation has been struggling as an industry for decades.

The number of people employed in the agriculture, aquiculture and fishing industries stands at closer to 322,000 - down significantly from 433,000 in 2002.

How do we help stem that decline? Find out where your food comes from, buy local where you can, and demand better from the supermarkets.

In comparison to our city- and coastal-based counterparts, we do it tough all the time. We have to demand basic services, and our health is always poorer than metropolitan people.

That’s why it’s important to support local businesses, including farmers. The more support you give them, the more they can provide for us.

Retail is one of Orange’s major economic drivers, and in these dry times it will get tougher for the businesses we walk and drive past every day.

Many operators can be heard speaking about the hit they’ve felt from a farming sector reluctant to spend cash when their futures are far from certain.

It’s important to keep the generosity flowing now and into the future when times aren’t as harsh.

If you’re looking for a way to help out, look local, now and always.

And remember to support a farmer, both when it rains and when it doesn’t, because they always need our help.

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