Extracted from the Farm Tender weekly Newsletter - Sign up and get the email every Wednesday morning before 6 am. www.farmtender.com.au
By Dwain Duxson
I was reading about the legendary Lang Hancock and how he continuously navigated his small plane back and across the Pilbara region, looking for Iron Ore or other mineral deposits. Sometimes he would find what he thought was a huge deposit, and he would then keep the location to himself until the State or Federal Governments would change the legislation to make it more favourable to mine. Often this process took years. He is the father figure of Iron Ore in this country, and look at what sort of industry it is today. It's an economy shaper.
It got me thinking, who are the trailblazers in Australian Agriculture? Like who bought the Wagyu Cattle in, who was the first to grow Cotton, is the king of Autonomous Ag Equipment going to be our own SwarmFarm or is it going to be John Deere?
Macarthur bought the Merino Sheep in early days. He arrived here as a 23-year-old in 1790, but according to Wikipedia, it wasn't until 1805 when Macarthur was credited with landing the first Merino Sheep on the banks of Sydney Cove.
Maybe I am not in tune with all the history in Australian Agriculture, but who are the celebrated ones who changed the face of our Agricultural nation? Who took significant risks, won or failed to create something that we value so highly today? Who's out there today that is going to be remembered as the trailblazer of something that catapults the industry forward into the future?
Like who decided that Angus Cattle would be a great fit for our climate, and who was the first to grow Wheat commercially in the Wheat belt of WA? Who established our Export Hay industry?
It's boring having Corporates being the big property stewards. If a few things go wrong they bail out and invest in some other non-core enterprise. It was more fun when Kidman or Brinkworth were in charge. They were risking it all and paving the way for others.
I read in a recent survey where around half the Farming community believe there is an absence of leadership in this country. My uneducated guess would be that it would be the same or worse with other Agricultural Countries around the world.
Some of the greatest changes happen when the chips are down, they were bought upon through necessity when things were tough. We are in a sweet spot in Australian Ag right now, so let's hope our boots aren't filled with complacency, and we are still able to forge ahead, take big risks and make decisions that keep making our industry better.
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