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Words by Brett Hosking, farmer from Quambatook, Victoria and Chair of GrainGrowers

After three and in some cases four years of drought in parts of NSW it has been heart-warming to see an amazing turnaround for many growers with a great season in 2020.

As growers, we can face really challenging times. It is also so satisfying to experience the good ones as well.

I’m the fifth generation of our family to farm where we are.  Over that time our farming practices have changed and so has the land we farm.  Even just in my lifetime, the way I farm is drastically different to when I began thanks to research, technology and a desire to farm better.  The result is healthier and more productive soils, better quality produce and weather permitting more of it!  This is the sort of change that only occurs with long term vision.

When we hear words like sustainability being used in reference to agriculture, I think we forget that this is what we’ve always done.  Sustainability is about ensuring that we continue to nurture, grow, and develop our farms and farming practices. We want to ensure that when the next generation comes along, our farms will offer so much more than they do today.

I think it is important that we talk to others about this as well!

Over the past 18 months the Grains industry, led by GrainGrowers, has collaborated with people and groups all across the sector – and to many outside of it, to identify 12 sustainability goals from which we can develop some specific 2030 targets.

These include things like soil health, conservation, carbon footprint, water use, chemical use and even the health and wellbeing of our growers.

The question for all of us is are these the right goals or can you add to or improve this list?

I look forward to the future of my farm.  When I talk to my daughter who is studying Ag at Uni then I know the future of my farm will be very different to the present and that is exciting.  What excites me most is that already her vision is well beyond the next season and looking to a sustainable future.

GrainGrowers has a survey about sustainability targets.  It’s open to anyone and we want to hear as many views as possible but if you’re a grower, this is especially important for you!