Radio Grabs: Record Interest In Farm Day 2009

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30th May 2009, 06:04am - Views: 968

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27 May 2009

City families flock to the country in record numbers

More than 400 city families will flock to the country this weekend in a show of unprecedented

interest in life on the land.

In a bid to bridge the urban-rural divide, farmers across Australia will host a city family this

weekend as part of Farm Day. 

Instigated by one woman in 2006, Farm Day is now so popular that it has become a national

event, with more than 800 city and country families participating.

Deb Bain, who is founder of Farm Day and a farmer from Skipton, says she began Farm Day

because she believed the gap between city and country people was growing. 

“Many children are not getting first-hand exposure to farming and in some cases have no idea

where or how their food or fibre is produced,” Deb said.

“Farm Day enables city families to meet other farm families for a day of ‘fun, friendship and

understanding’. It gives city families an opportunity to get up close to the animals and learn

how a modern farmer operates.”

Reflecting the diversity of agriculture, farms taking part will range enormously, from those

with beef

cattle, lamb, wool and grains

to other specialised enterprises with citrus, walnuts

and even water buffalo.

Farm Day experiences with be plentiful with opportunities to help milk cows, round up cattle,

shear sheep, plant trees, ride tractors or shovel chicken poo! 

Deb said interest from city families was overwhelming this year and a reflection of the fact

that many felt disconnected and distant from the land. 

She said the unprecedented interest was not so surprising given a survey by Meat & Livestock

Australia last year that found only 25 per cent of city families have a relative or close friend

who is a farmer.

Research also shows nearly one-third of city residents have never visited a working farm and

when it comes to young city people aged 16-24, as many as 60% have never visited a farm.

“We are delighted with the interest from the city. It shows that there is a real desire to get out on

a farm and learn about farming life,” Deb said.

“With just 25 per cent of city families having a friend or relative who lives on a farm, Farm

Day is a tremendous way for farmers to ‘reconnect’ with their city cousins.”

Farm Day is a free event which takes place over the two-day weekend so families have flexibility

to choose their preferred day to visit. 

For further information, contact: Jenny Littlewood or Nicola Raymond, PR for Farm Day,

on 03 9696 5899 or 0403 359 864 (Jenny) and 0406 761 798 (Nicola)  

Farm Day is proudly supported by Australia’s cattle producers

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