Voice of Real Australia: The delights of watching grass grow

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by Stock Journal reporter Elizabeth Anderson.

Croppa Creek farmer Ken Barnett reads Tractors by Catherine Foreman to kids as part of the Warialda Public School social media reading program.

Croppa Creek farmer Ken Barnett reads Tractors by Catherine Foreman to kids as part of the Warialda Public School social media reading program.

This may come as a surprise to some, but agricultural journalism is not necessarily considered the most glamorous branch of the profession.

I'm certainly likely to spend a lot more encounters with, shall we say, manure-related situations than my inner-city colleagues.

As much as I enjoy a job that lets me wear jeans and comfortable shoes, there are some other selling points for working in the field I do.

Almost every day, a tiny revolution is happening in rural and regional Australia Iand this role puts me right in the front seat for an industry chock-full of innovation.

Even the phrase "watching grass grow", takes on another meaning when we're talking about pasture management techniques that could potentially mean an extra $60,000 a year to the standard 200-cow dairy farm.

There is a stereotype of farmers as living a simple life - they plants seeds and wait for them to grow. But farming is complex and multi-tasking is second nature.

So many farmers I've met are required to have knowledge in soil science, animal biology, finance, mechanics, marketing and so much more.

Every week we write profiles about great farmers - sometimes this is people doing everyday things, with a little something that gives them the edge. But sometimes we come across people who are finding completely new ways of doing things.

On so many occasions, I've heard about farmers who wanted to try something, couldn't find the right tools, so just... invented the tool themselves.

And not just on-farms.

In regional communities there are people thinking about what the community needs, finding ways to achieve that and then doing it.

This includes women helping ensure other women have options to step up, farmers reading to classrooms from their tractors, teachers using robots to connect with students, linking winemakers with consumers and countless other examples.

And what could be more exciting to write - or read - about than that?

Elizabeth Anderson,

Journalist, Stock Journal

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