CONNECTIONS: Andrew Johnston and John Cullen want to foster a positive environment with the Give a Farmer a Break event.
CONNECTIONS: Andrew Johnston and John Cullen want to foster a positive environment with the Give a Farmer a Break event. Meg Gannon

Addressing the big issues in a positive environment

FOR the team at Dalby Rural Supplies, it's more important now than ever to unify the community to tackle the tough environmental challenges facing our farmers.

The Give a Farmer a Break event at the store next Thursday aims to create a positive environment in which farmers and the wider community can connect and have conversations about important topics like mental health and the agricultural industry on the whole.

"It's an opportunity for growers and town folk to have a drink and a barbecue and start networking,” Dalby Rural Supplies co-director Andrew Johnston said.

"Our whole community and the rural sector rides off the back of the farmers so we've opened it up to the general public... it's about networking and catching up, but we've also got three really good speakers coming along so hopefully the community will get something out of it.”

Shadow Environment Minister David Crisafulli will be discussing current agricultural issues relevant in the ag sector.

Mark Scanlon will be discussing succession planning, business transition, and integrating our youth into the farming business for the future.

Warren Davies will be telling personal stories about how he overcame the environmental and emotional challenges that accompany life in the agricultural industry.

The topics to be tackled during the event include combating activist groups, succession planning, and mental health awareness.

But the goals centre around connecting the community.

"The big one is probably coming together as a community,” Mr Johnston said.

"This drought, it's extremely difficult at the moment.

"Our evening is not about negativity; we've all got to stay positive and keep moving forward on this.

"The rural sector is a very resilient industry. But I think, as a community, we all need to be aware at this difficult time.”

The decision was made to open up the event to the wider community so that the whole town could learn about these vital issues.

"We all as a community need to bind over these difficult times,” Mr Johnston said.

"The rains will come again, and we'll all be back on track. It tends to be focused on the growers but it needs to be about the whole community.”

Mr Johnston hopes the evening will not only educate guests about some important issues, but will create a positive space for networking and sharing experiences.

"It's all about awareness.”

To attend the event, RSVP to Dalby Rural Supplies by Monday. The event begins at 3pm on Thursday, August 29.


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