A Year in Review - 2017

We’ve achieved a lot in 2017, mobilising thousands of farmers across the country to engage with, and influence, public policy debates over climate change, renewable energy and climate-smart agriculture.

We’ve made farmers voices’ heard on critical issues including energy, climate change policy and hot topics such as Adani and ag innovation.

We’ve grown from zero to five staff and from a few hundred farmers to over 25,000 supporters from the WA wheatbelt to the Tasmanian vineyards and everywhere in between.

Highlights include:

 

You can see the delegation to Parliament House to present the results of our climate change survey below.

 

 

Becoming an associate member of the National Farmers Federation and helping pass historic new NFF climate and energy policy acknowledging climate science and calling for action to reduce Australia’s emissions.

 

Joining forces with the NFF!

 

Running a full-page Open Letter in The Land newspaper calling on rural MPs to support renewable energy.

 

Our full page ad in The Land

 

Working with Australia’s leading researchers in the area of climate-smart agriculture - promoting practices like increasing soil carbon that both reduce on-farm emissions and improve farms’ resilience to climate change impacts. We held a workshop at ANU with experts in this area that helped inform our thinking and are currently developing a policy proposal in this area. FCA is working with a trusted panel of Australia’s leading scientists to support our work in communicating evidence based information to assist farmers in matching the changes they are seeing on farm with the bigger picture. Hear from FCA Chair and leading beef producer, Lucinda Corrigan below.

 

 

We’ve been flat out supporting farmers and graziers in the area of the proposed Adani mine to campaign against the unlimited, free 60 year water licence, the compulsory acquisition of agricultural land, and the now-very-unlikely federal Government NAIF loan. We’ve worked closely with Qld graziers Angus Emmott and Will Graham on two petitions in this campaign and travelled thousands of kms connecting with others. We are particularly proud of our report our report demonstrating how $1b of taxpayer funds could yield better results invested in agriculture rather than a private coal railway. This report and our broader work is changing the old media narrative that regional Queenslanders support the mine - because in fact, the opposite is true. To read the full report click here.

 

Article in The Guardian highlighting the findings of the Quiggin Report

 

Holding two highly successful groundwater forums in Longreach and Emerald, QLD. With over 110 attendees across the two events, our speakers highlighted the significant community concern over putting fossil fuels before Aussie farmers.

 

Farmers meeting at the Longreach Water Forum

 

A strong presence at major agricultural events and field days including the Henty Field Days, National Field Days in Orange, Dowerin Field Days in WA, and Westech Field Days in Barcaldine Qld.

 

 

Farmer volunteers at the Henty Agricultural Field Day

 

Our national summit with 35 of our most active farmers, who are now volunteering in leadership roles in the organisation and continue to form the backbone of our working groups.

 

Pictured Left- Molong farmer and FCA volunteer Rob Lee is taking the message straight to his local politician, the Nationals Andrew Gee. Pictured right- FCA farmers and staff at our National Summit.

 

Participating (in a non-partisan way) in the Queensland and New England elections to raise issues around climate change.

 

All candidates vying for the QLD State Seat of Gregory participated in the Farmers for Climate Action Candidates Forum (L-R - Bruce Currie Ind, Jenny Todd Facilitator, Dave Kerrigan ALP, Norm Weston Greens, Michael Kane FCA QLD Coordinator, Mark Higgins ONP, Verity Morgan-Schmidt FCA CEO and the Hon Lachlan Miller (LNP).

 

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Jim McDonald speaking at the Tamworth climate rally ahead of the New England election

 

Straight from the horse’s mouth! Farmers rally for action on climate.

 

In addition to all of the above; we’ve presented at conferences in QLD, Vic, WA and connected with farmers and graziers across the country. We’ve advocated for climate action in cattle yards, in shearing sheds, in Board rooms and every stop in between.

 

Qld coordinators Michael Kane and Mick Alexander tackling the realities of climate change in the field.


 

We’ve led the way in putting the voices of those on the front line of climate change, front and centre in creating solutions. Check out the video below of FCA board member Anika Molesworth presenting at TedX Sydney.

 

 

CURRENT PROJECTS

 

WA Survey

If you’re in Western Australia and currently involved in agriculture, we’re keen to hear from you. Farmers for Climate Action is currently working closely with farmers and graziers from across Western Australia to gain a better understanding of farmers' perspectives on damage to our climate, adaptive strategies and capacity; and experiences on-farm. Understanding how our farmers feel about these issues is critical in supporting us to push for stronger action and support for WA farmers. Can you spare 5 minutes to complete this survey (www.surveymonkey.com/r/farmersurveywa) and distribute to your networks?

 

Founding Supporters Program

As you can see from the list above, our small team has been incredibly busy in 2017 and we’ve grown bigger than we thought we would, more quickly. The biggest risk to Farmers for Climate Action right now is that we don’t develop the capacity to keep up with the demand from our members to get involved in our projects and campaigns. This is why we’ve recently launched our Founding Supporters Program - our first ever monthly donor program to ensure that we have a strong and secure financial base well into the future. If you’re keen to support Farmers for Climate Action, we’d love to have you on board as a Founding Supporter.

 

https://farmersforclimateaction.raisely.com/

 

Climate Smart Agriculture Fellowship Program - Victoria
Applications are now open for farmers and agricultural leaders to join our Climate Smart Agriculture Fellowship, kicking off with a masterclass between 19-22nd Feb in Seymour, Vic. Find out more here.

 

RD&E - Climate Change & Australian Agriculture

We have recently received some funding to support us in advocating for more Research, Development & Extension to assist Aussie farmers in adapting to climate change and reducing their climate impact. This is an area that’s unfortunately seen federal funding significantly reduced, so we’ll be developing a proposal in the lead up to the 2018 federal election to inject more funds.

 

2018 PLANS

 

Our plans for 2018 include:  

 

  • Our first strategic plan - and we’d love your input! We will send out a survey in February next year.
  • Making farmers’ voices heard on climate policy in the Victorian and Federal elections
  • TV ads to change the conversation in rural areas over summer in NSW and Victoria
  • Launching our “climate-smart agriculture” fellowship
  • More grassroots education and outreach with farmers, including launching a toolkit on climate-smart agriculture and energy use on farm
  • Sending a delegation of Queensland farmers to Brisbane to meet with the new Parliament early in the 2018 sitting calendar
  • Political engagement - a ‘meet your MP’ week… and we have recently been invited to present to the Federal Country Labor Caucus and are building connections with the Federal Cross-Parliamentary Friends of Agriculture Group.

 

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Happy farmers at our national summit

 

We'll leave you with a final word from our CEO, calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to stand with farmers and deliver meaningful action on climate change.