Let me create an example for you.
Consider the size of Australia’s population, approximately 25.7 million people. Now consider the amount of food, water and clothing required for our population. Now consider the number of farming enterprises in Australia, approximately 89,000. Let’s make an assumption, (I know, never assume anything). If every farming enterprise accounts for 3 people, that equates to 1% of Australia’s population.
When I think about the ratio of farming based people to the rest of the population it’s easy to understand why an information gap exists. It’s easier to understand why people perceive farming differently to me. Our own experience informs our knowledge, and a life with no contact with any kind of farming means no knowledge or context base regarding farming.
I have no experience in the world of publishing, therefore my knowledge of publishing comes purely from outside sources. Movies, social media, the news, and any people in my social circles who are involved directly or indirectly in publishing. My ‘idea’ of a publisher is a cutthroat business person who chases the bottom line. Is that accurate? I highly doubt it. Is part of it accurate, possibly?
Questioning where our knowledge comes from leads to a better understanding. Directing questions to people who have lived and breathed the topic in question will give you second-hand knowledge. Not third, fifth, or hundredth. Not to mention, every time knowledge changes hands it’s altered by that person’s lens of experience.
So fire your questions at me, let me help you understand farming and how we produce your food and fibres. I can only speak to what I’ve experienced, but if I don’t know, I’ll point you in the direction of someone who might have that knowledge.
To start with I connect with, listen to and care for the land we have. That is why I believe in farming and agriculture. Perhaps you see us turning the dirt over and changing the landscape and blame us for the changes to the landscape. I see farming creating symbiotic relationships in natural ecosystems. Relationships that allow bulk food and fibre production alongside flourishing, improving and protected natural resources. Native flora and fauna abound on our farm, and I do my very best to maintain and grow those populations without letting them become an overburden that taxes the land. I do that while growing your food and fibres.
I care. I caretake. I give back.
So consider for a moment the problems in the world. It is easy to point the finger at an area of the population that is anonymous. Remember, we are all on this planet together. Every time we point a finger at someone anonymous, we point a finger at ‘humans’. It’s time to foster relationships, improve knowledge and create solutions to keep this planet and our species healthy from an informed perspective.